High-flying forward JC Intal announces retirement | Inquirer Sports
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High-flying forward JC Intal announces retirement

/ 02:07 AM March 22, 2021

JC Intal (File photo from PBA)

MANILA, Philippines — Phoenix Super LPG forward JC Intal, a  former Ateneo de Manila University standout,  has announced his retirement from basketball after spending 13 years in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).

Intal made the sudden statement in an Instagram post on Sunday night, thanking his family, friends, and the other people who helped him craft a career as a high-flying and explosive swingman.

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“After 2 decades of playing the sport I love, 13 years of which in the PBA, I am officially announcing my retirement from basketball.  Words cannot express how grateful I am to every single person who helped me make this journey possible—from playing for 2 years in Letran for high school, to 5 years in Ateneo for college, and 13 years in the pro league.  Thank you to my wife, Bianca, and our daughters Lucia and Carmen for the love and inspiration,” Intal said.

“I want to thank my parents Nars and Ning, my siblings PJ, Mark, JR, Rex and Vica, and my friends, especially JayR Reyes and Doug Kramer, who from Day 1 have supported me—from when I was just a kid shooting hoops on the street, to becoming a pro athlete playing in Araneta Coliseum,” he added.

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Intal did not give a reason for his decision to hang his shoes before the latest conference of the PBA takes place. Despite that, he expressed gratitude to his coaches — from the collegiate ranks to the professional league and to the national team, which he was briefly a part of.

“I want to thank every single coach I was under from the NCAA, UAAP, PBL, GILAS, and in the PBA. Thank you for your patience, guidance and encouragement,” he said.

“To my Phoenix family—Boss Dennis, Boss RTZ, management, coaches, staff and teammates—who I spent the most years with, thank you for these amazing last few years,” he added.

Intal was part of the famed Ateneo squad that stopped rival De La Salle University from getting a fifth University Athletic Association of the Philippines championship in the collegiate league’s 65th season.

Other members of the 2002 Ateneo squad included Ginebra court general LA Tenorio, former PBA top pick Rich Alvarez, former Gilas sniper Larry Fonacier, bruiser Enrico Villanueva, and slasher Wesley Gonzales.

In Asia’s first play-for-pay league, Intal became a reliable swingman after he was drafted fourth overall by the Air21 Express. He made a name for himself with his exciting play and high-flying acts, earning the moniker “The Rocket.”

After being shipped by Air21 to Barangay Ginebra and later to B-Meg, Intal found a home in the Barako Bull franchise which was later adopted by the current Phoenix team.

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In Phoenix, he sharpened his skillset, adding a three-pointer into his arsenal, which eventually led to a spot in the Gilas Pilipinas final 12 lineup that represented the country in the Fiba Asia Championship.

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