ALTHOUGH he is ready for any eventuality, JC Intal said he prefers to stay with Barako Bull amid reports he is set to be part of a three-team trade along with San Miguel's Marcio Lassiter and Mac Baracael of Ginebra.
The former Ateneo star said he is aware of the trade speculations but refuses to be distracted by these, pointing out that he has been part of a couple of trades before and accepts it as part of a player's life.
But given a choice, Intal, who had previous stints with Ginebra, Purefoods (now Star) and Air21 in an eight-year career, said he would rather stay at Barako Bull given the opportunities he has been getting from the team.
“Sa akin kasi, ilang beses na rin ako na-trade. I’m ready. But if hindi ako ma-trade, I’ll be okay as long as mabigyan ng opportunity especially here in Barako,” said the 31-year-old forward.
On Friday, Intal hardly looked distracted by the trade speculations, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, five assists, and four steals in a 100-87 win over Talk ‘N Text at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
“I don’t want to get distracted coming into this game,” Intal said. “Sa aming mga players, we are the last to know. But we are all professionals. Right now, ang focus ko is ‘yung Barako Bull.”
Intal has been instrumental in a strong start that has seen Barako win its first three games in the Governors’ Cup. He was even named as the PBA Press Corps Player of the Week during their hot start.
But Intal was quick to deflect the credit to Barako’s import Liam McMorrow, who finished with 26 points and 28 rebounds for the Energy in their win over the Tropang Texters.
“Liam is the biggest factor that is why we’re 3-0. We caught a big fish today even though Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, and other players didn’t play. But a win is a win. We are happy,” said Intal.
Whether the trade will materialize in the future or not, Intal said his sole focus is on Barako Bull's next game against Meralco.
“Monday, we’re going to focus on Meralco,” Intal said.