JC Intal explains success with Phoenix after underwhelming seasons with Star, Ginebra
JC Intal finished with 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists in a 118-106 win over NLEX by the Fuel Masters in their league debut on Wednesday night. Jaime Campos

BASICALLY being healthy the last three seasons has been the major reason for the resurgence in the playing career of JC Intal.

The high-flying wingman admitted he’s relishing the opportunity of playing injury free and hopes to keep on doing so as he suits up for new team Phoenix in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Intal finished with 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists in a 118-106 win over NLEX by the Fuel Masters in their league debut on Wednesday night after buying the Barako Bull franchise lock, stock, and barrel during the season break.

The former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart punctuated his performance with two impressive slams that brought the house down at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

His health condition has a lot to do with the return of the bounce in his game.

“I’m very thankful na since lumipat ako sa Barako, I’m injury free,” said the 32-year-old shooting guard out of Ateneo.  “For three years I feel very healthy, I feel very good, and wala akong nararamdaman na sakit sa katawan ko.”

In his 10-year pro career, Intal mostly played through injuries, including the time spent with powerhouse franchises Barangay Ginebra and Star.

In the lone PBA championship he won, Intal was on the sidelines after suffering a meniscus tear on his left knee as Star (then carrying the B-Meg brand) won the 2012 Commissioner’s Cup title over Talk ‘N Text.

But since being traded to Barako in 2013 following a five-team trade, he has not suffered any injury of sorts, both minor and major.

“Kasi before with Ginebra and B-Meg, sobrang injury prone ko. Puro minor lang naman, kaya hindi ko nakukuha talaga (yung game ko),” he said.

 “Walang major injuries before, pero sunud-sunod naman.”

But all that changed when he came over to Barako, where a fit and in-shape Intal rose to become one of the faces of the franchise.

Now with the Fuel Masters, he hopes to continue doing the same thing.

“Knock on wood na wala namang mangyari,” said Intal. “I’m enjoying my career now, I’m enjoying my playing time now, and hindi ko hahayaang mawala pa yun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos