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Retooled squads eye 3×3 crown

A number of players’ rigodon adds color and spice to the final conference of the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 Season 2 that comes off the wraps on Saturday at Robinsons Novaliches.

Meralco, Pioneer Elastoseal, and San Miguel are among the teams which shuffled their respective rosters, even as grand slam seeking TNT Tropang Giga won’t be having scoring king Almond Vosotros in their Leg 1 roster.

The Bolts let go of veteran 3×3 player Tonino Gonzaga and Leo De Vera but acquired Jeff Manday and Bryan Santos to go along with Alfred Batino and Reymar Caduyac.

Gonzaga, meanwhile, ended up with San Miguel along with De Vera to team up with new acquisition Bryan Santos and old hand Ken Bono.

The Elastoseal for their part, tapped Kenneth Mocon from Meralco and Denice Villamor from Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to complete the quartet that includes regulars Gian Abrigo and Reggie Morido.

This developed as the Tropang Giga began their campaign for a sweep of the entire Season 2 minus Vosotros, who was given a one week break by coach Mau Belen to fully recover from the grind of continuously playing without relief for five straight conferences.

The Tropang Giga, who will parade Samboy de Leon, Lervin Flores, Ping Exciminiano, and Gryann Mendoza, won second straight grand finals last December by rallying back to frustrate Cavitex Braves in overtime, 19-17, and claim the P750,000 prize money.

The Braves retained the team of Jorey Napoles, Dominick Fajardo, Bong Galanza, and Chester Saldua, but now has a new coach in former player Kyles Lao.

TNT leads Pool A as grand finals champion, Cavitex banners Pool B for finishing runner up, while J&T and Platinum Karaoke, which disputed third place, show the way in Pool C and D, respectively.

Also in Pool A are Pioneer Elastoseal and Blackwater, in Pool B are San Miguel and NorthPort, Pool C Barangay Ginebra and Terrafirma, while Meralco and Purefoods complete Pool D.

It’s Pioneer and Blackwater opening hostilities in the pool play consisting of a total of 12 games starting at 11 a.m.

Top eight teams will advance in the knockout stage to be held on Sunday, with the winner going home with the top prize money of P100,000.

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