JC Intal felt really bad leaving San Mig Coffee, but is definitely looking at the bright side of his transfer to Barako Bull ahead of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The move to the Energy Cola, afterall, meant Intal being reunited with fellow Ateneo Blue Eagles Enrico Villanueva and Doug Kramer.
“Tinext nga ako agad ni Doug eh,” Intal told Spin.ph while recovering from the shock over his involvement in the Tuesday trade that included nine other players from five different teams.
“Masaya kasi magkakasama ulit kami.”
“The Rocket” laughed off insinuations that Barako Bull is trying to go the way of Air21 Express, a team laden with players from Ateneo’s fierce rival De La Salle, among them Mike Cortez, RenRen Ritualo, and rookie Simon Atkins, not to mention coach Franz Pumaren.
Turning serious, Intal admitted he’s leaving coach Tim Cone, James Yap, and the rest of the Mixers with a heavy heart.
“Nagulat din pero this is not the time to sulk,” said the former Letran junior standout.
“Thankful ako at maganda naman `yung team na napuntahan namin ni Jonas,” he added, referring to San Mig teammate Jonas Vilanueva, who was also acquired by the Energy Cola in the trade together with Petron guard Jojo Duncil and Ginebra’s Allein Maliksi.
Incidentally, both Intal and Villanueva are also reunited with Josh Urbiztondo at Barako Bull. All three players were part of the San Mig team that won the Commissioner’s Cup championship last year.
Intal though, will not be able to join Barako Bull’s practices until the second week of February as the 29-year-old wingman is still recovering from an injury related to his meniscal tear operation five months ago.
Upon his return, Intal hopes he’ll finally have the playing time at Barako which he failed to get from his previous PBA teams, including Ginebra and Air21.
“Time to focus, chance to play ng mahaba-haba. I want to prove my worth and earn my playing time sa pagpapakita ng maganda sa practice,” he said.
At the same time, Intal is optimistic Barako will be very competitive in the Commissioner’s Cup following the addition of Duncil, Villanueva, and Maliksi to the roster.