JC Intal lamented not being able to see action at a time when Phoenix is playing its best basketball in franchise history in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
Intal has been sidelined for about a month now after fracturing his left hand during the Fuel Masters’ game against Blackwater last Feb. 1.
The former Ateneo standout was expected to sit out for four to six weeks depending on how the fourth metacarpal bone (the bone of the ring finger) will heal.
“Kailangan ko lang hintayin yung pag-heal ng bone kasi fractured,” he said of the injury he suffered when his finger got caught in the shirt of Blackwater’s Roi Sumang.
“Sabi ni Doc maganda naman yung pagkakabali, so good thing hindi kailangan ng surgery,” Intal added.
The injury came at a time when the Fuel Masters are in the thick of the fight for a Top Two spot at the end of the eliminations - and twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
Following the team’s 94-80 whipping of Alaska Friday night, Phoenix has regained a piece of the lead with Rain or Shine on similar 7-1 (win-loss) cards going to its last three assignments in the eliminations.
“Siyempre gustong-gusto kong maglaro lalo na at nagpapanalo yung team,” said the veteran forward.
But Intal believes his teammates are capable of filling the void, mentioning the likes of Jaypee Mendoza, Rey Guevarra, and rookies Jorey Napoles and Ron Dennison
“We trust each other naman sa team. So mapi-fill naman yung void na nawala,” said Intal.
The 35-year-old native of Minalin, Pampanga has kept himself in shape even with his hand injured as he continues to join the Fuel Masters in practice.
“Wala lang mga contacts pero sumasabay naman ako sa practice,” he said.
At the most, Intal hopes to be ready in time for the playoffs when the Fuel Masters aim for their first ever semifinals stint.
“Positive naman ako. I’m praying and hope na by playoffs,” he said.