TNT routs Ginebra for No. 1 spot
BIÑAN—TNT KaTropa stopped Barangay Ginebra on its track while keeping the fire of its own rampage to gain top honors at the close of the PBA Governors Cup eliminations at Alonte Sports Arena Sunday here.
The Texters fashioned out a 104-92 rout of the Kings in what was expected to be a fierce, close match – a fitting climax on their dominant elims ride that made them the top seed in the coming playoffs.
With an impressive 10-1 record with a lone defeat coming at the hands of Mahindra, the Texters (carrying a twice-to-beat advantage) will be pitted in the quarterfinals against the eighth and last seed.
Rain or Shine and Phoenix Petroleum fight for the last berth in the quarters in a do-or-die playoff on Wednesday over at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Mychal Ammons, Jason Castro, Michael Madanly and Larry Fonacier were the lead stars as TNT showed up Ginebra in their virtual playoff match for No. 1 playoff seeding.
With the loss, the Gin Kings went all the way down to third spot, yielding No. 2 to San Miguel Beer – 107-101 winner over Blackwater earlier in the day.
Ginebra and San Miguel wound up with identical 8-3 marks. The Beermen gained second spot on the winner-over-the-other rule, having beaten the Kings, 111-105, in a double-overtime showdown last Aug. 14.
San Miguel takes on NLEX while Ginebra tangles with Alaska Milk in the quarterfinals.
“We just hoped for the best to maintain momentum,” said TNT coach Jong Uichico in their effort against Ginebra cheered on by team owner Manny V. Pangilinan.
The Texters simply outworked and outmaneuvered the Kings, with the biggest efforts coming from Ammons, Castro, Madanly and Fonacier.
Ammons exploded for 24 points and 16 rebounds while Castro frolicked with 19 markers and 10 assists in in a pair of key double-double games for TNT.
Madanly and Fonacier proved to be of big help as they poured the bulk of their 32-point combined output during TNT’s second half breakaway.
As Ammons, Madanly and Castro waxed hot together in the third quarter, the Texters roared to a first double-digit spread at 55-45 and led by as many as 16 at 67-51 before settling for a 78-66 spread going into the final canto.
Ammons, Castro and Fonacier showed the way earlier as the Texters took the half at 43-35.
A big blow for the Kings was Japeth Aguilar picking up a fourth foul with three minutes left in the first half.
Not helping Ginebra was LA Tenorio suddenly going silent in the second period after an exciting 12-point binge in the opening quarter.
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