AS his stint with Gilas Pilipinas 3.0 came to a close, JC Intal has embarked on a new role – being a doting father.
Less than a month after suiting up for the overachieving national team that finished runner-up behind China in the Fiba Asia Championship, another piece of good news greeted Intal back home as celebrity wife Bianca Gonzalez Intal gave birth to their first baby, Lucia Martine.
The Barako Bull star considers the chance to suit up for the national team and having his first born child as both blessings from the Lord.
“It’s the greatest feeling in the world. Matagal ko ng dream ang magka-baby and start a family of my own,” said Intal of the new experience in his life.
The arrival of a new family member also somehow consoled the wingman out of Ateneo following his exclusion from the latest training pool that will comprise the next batch of Gilas players bound for next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Intal said he’ll always cherish the experience of playing for Gilas.
“For me, malaking blessing na makasama sa Gilas 3.0,” said Intal, a former Letran junior standout.
With the exception of injured veteran Ranidel De Ocampo, the entire Gilas team headed by coach Tab Baldwin had a dinner reunion last Tuesday hosted by Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Manny V. Pangilinan which Intal described as ‘short but fun.’
And from what he understands, former members of Gilas 3.0 who were no longer included in the current national training pool, will still be asked to join scrimmages when Baldwin starts conducting the scheduled Monday practices.
“Kung tawagan kami we’ll be ready,” said Intal, who was among the Gilas 3.0 members no longer part of the training pool along with Asi Taulava, Gary David, Dondon Hontiveros, Sonny Thoss, and Troy Rosario.
“We’ll be happy to help them. Kahit practice players, we’ll be fine.”
Intal said he’ll forever be grateful for being part of the national team that exceeded expectations of many following its silver medal finish in the Olympic qualifier.
And the experience of playing in a highly-competitive tournament such as the Fiba Asia definitely would come a long way in his bid to become a better player in the PBA.
“My stint with Gilas has been a great honor. I’ve learned a lot from coach Tab (Baldwin) and from all in the coaching staff there, and even playing against international players,” said Intal.
“Ang dami ko talagang natutunan. And I will bring that confidence to this new PBA season,” added the Barako Bull gunner, who topscored for 16 points and six rebounds in the Energy’s 93-85 loss to the NLEX Road Warriors in their Smartbro Philippine Cup debut on Tuesday night.