Before teaming up at Gilas, Jayson Castro, Terrence Romeo figure in PBA playoff shootout 
The round of eight provides an interesting matchup between two of the league's best guards in Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo. Jaime Campos

TWO of the country’s most prolific scorers are set to engage each other in a duel as TNT KaTropa and GlobalPort face off in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Jayson Castro and Terrence Romeo lead the offense for the Texters and the Batang Pier, respectively, in the opener of the best-of-three series between the fourth and fifth seeds that tips off at 3 p.m.

Third seed Star takes on sixth seed Phoenix in the other first-to-two wins series in the second game at 5:15 p.m.

Romeo leads the tournament in scoring at 28.7 points and is coming off a 44-point explosion in the Batang Pier’s last game in the elimination round, a 117-99 blowout victory over Rain or Shine last Sunday.

Castro has long proven he can score as much as Romeo does when he starts, but has been doing well in a sixth man role, averaging just 16.8 points, still good for ninth in the tournament, in 28.6 minutes per game.

But while he has overtaken Castro in the scoring department, Romeo still has to earn his spot at Gilas Pilipinas 5.0, insisting he is yet to be a shoo-in for a backcourt spot.

“Hindi mo pa matatawag na Gilas return yun dahil hindi pa naman nakapangalan yung Final Twelve,” Romeo said in a recent chat with “So kailangan mo pa rin i-prove yung self mo na maging deserving ka dun.”

“Pero masaya ako na isa pa rin ako sa nabigyan ng chance para i-prove kung deserving ba ako na makalaro para sa bayan ulit,” the 24-year-old cager added.

Before they fight for spots and team up at the national team, Romeo and Castro try to lead their teams to a spot in the semifinals.

The Texters and the Batang Pier finished the eliminations with a similar 6-5 win-loss record, but TNT edged Globalport, 102-98, in their regular-season meeting just last week.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos