FAVORITE TNT will be without its cornerstone big man when the PBA 3×3 Season 3 resumes Monday at the Ayala Mall circuit in Makati after a two-month break.
The Triple Giga play minus veteran Lervin Flores in the opening leg of the Second Conference after the 6-foot-5 center was elevated to the TNT 5-on-5 team for the entire Season 48.
Flores was tapped as the team had been hit by a slew of injuries on several of its key players.
In his place, coach Mau Belen took in Matt Salem and Chester Saldua as reserve.
Salem will play right away with TNT, teaming up with regulars Ping Exciminiano, Samboy De Leon, and Gryann Mendoza as the Triple Giga look to make a fitting follow up to their campaign in the First Conference where they beat the Cavitex Braves for the championship, 21-18.
Curiously, TNT top gun Almond Vosotros is also listed as reserve heading to the opening day of pool play where a total of 13 games will be played.
Cavitex opens hostilities against Blackwater at 10:30 a.m. as it leads Pool A together with Pioneer Elastoseal.
TNT is in Pool B together with San Miguel, guest team MCFA Solver Tech Centrale, and Northport, which has a new coach in Mike Oliver.
Pool C will have a souped-up Barangay Ginebra, Meralco, Terrafirma, and Purefoods.
The top two teams in Pool A and top three each in Pool B and C will advance to the knockout stage set on Tuesday.
Leg champion will receive P100,000, runner up P50,000, and third place P30,000