The 40-year-old Cardona, a former Best Player of the Conference, last saw action in the league in 2017 with NorthPort Batang Pier.
Now he takes his act in the three-a-side meet as part of an experienced Valientes squad that takes on fellow guest team and contender Platinum Karaoke at 2:25 p.m. in one of 17 games during the opener that will have all 13 teams seeing action.
Cardona is joined by JR Cawaling, Kyle Neypes, and last-minute substitute Al Daser Esa, who replaces the injured Gino Jumao-As, at Zamboanga, while Platinum Karaoke is composed of top 3x3 players Karl Dehesa, Chris De Chavez, JR Alabanza, and Yutien Andrada.
PBA 3x3 opens
The Titans and Appmasters open hostilities right away at 2 p.m. as the league decided to do away with the traditional opening ceremony.
Barangay Ginebra opens action in Pool B as it takes on Sista Super Sealers at 2:50 p.m. followed by the game between the Larry Fonacier-led Cavitex Braves against another guest team Pioneer Pro Tibay in Pool C at 3:15 p.m.
The Tropang Giga face the Appmasters at 3:40 p.m. (Pool A), before the Dyip take the floor opposite the Kings an hour after in Pool B.
Afterwards, the Batang Pier make their turn at 4:55 p.m. against Pioneer Pro Tibay (Pool C), followed by the Bolts against Sista Super Sealers at 6:10 p.m. (Pool B), and finally the Beermen versus the Batang Pier at 6:35 p.m. (Pool C).
The remaining games in the eliminations will be held Sunday, followed shortly by the knockout stage.
The top three teams in Pool A (five teams) and top two teams in Pools B (four teams) and C (four teams) will advance to the knockout playoffs, while the eighth and final berth will be disputed by the third best team in Pool B and C, respectively in a do-or-die outing.
The quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals are all knockout games.
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