DESPITE yet another endgame meltdown, veteran swingman JC Intal believes Barako Bull is still capable of pulling off an upset in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup so long as the Energy take care of their last elimination round game against Alaska on Sunday.
Intal, the 6-foot-4 forward out of Ateneo, finished two rebounds short of a double-double in a heartbreaking 83-90 loss to league-leader Barangay Ginebra in Sunday’s main game at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“We fell short in the dying minutes. We were leading by 10 (points) I think, eh they (Gin Kings) hit their three-point shots din. They were able to adjust,” said Intal after the team dropped its eighth loss in 13 games.
“It’s a do-or-die game for us (against Alaska). Focus namin ngayon is Alaska. Sayang talaga against Ginebra,” added the former Ginebra player.
At 5-8, the Energy face the equally struggling Aces (4-9) in a do-or-die match on Friday, a game that will determine the playoff fates of both teams.
Intal said the Energy prepared so hard for their zone defense, a weapon that helped them that allowed Barako Bull to take a 68-60 lead in the third quarter.
But with Ginebra’s gunners going on target from beyond the arc in the final period, and getting the much-needed defensive spark from pint-sized playmaker Emman Monfort, Barako Bull was denied in the end.
“Siguro kailangan lang naming ma-polish pa` yung zone defense namin and ma-control namin ang rebounds,“ noted the high-flying forward, selected fourth overall in the 2007 Rookie Draft.
Intal, who has been plagued by injuries the past season, is averaging career-high numbers of 10.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 24.4 minutes this season.