JC Intal's confidence soars after Gilas stint
MANILA, Philippines – There’s nothing like a tour of duty with the national team to set off the idle confidence inside of you.
Forward JC Intal is riding the momentum from his Gilas Pilipinas 3.0 stint into the PBA and is playing with greater confidence, leading his club Barako Bull Energy to its first victory in the 2016 Philippine Cup over Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Saturday, October 31.
"It's because of his stint with the Gilas 3.0, I think it gave him that confidence," Barako Bull head coach Koy Banal said of the 8-year journeyman, who posted a team-high 22 points along with 5 rebounds, two assists and two steals in a massive 82-79 come-from-behind victory.
"Because of that Gilas 3.0, he has that belief. I have to give it to him."
Intal, 31, was part of the Philippine national men's basketball team under Tab Baldwin that finished with a silver medal in the 2015 FIBA Asia Championship. (READ: JC Intal sees Gilas stint as 'dream come true')
The international experience sparked Intal as he came up with 16 points and 6 rebounds as well in his first game back versus NLEX. (WATCH: JC Intal with the steal and dunk vs Kuwait)
The 6-foot-6 Intal seemed unstoppable as he plowed through the defense time and again Saturday as the Energy climbed out of a 21-point hole and dealt the Gin Kings their own version of a "Never Say Die" victory.
The former Ateneo Blue Eagle's confidence and aggressiveness were soaring so much that Banal wanted Intal to hold back a little.
"I'm trying to stop him because we wanted to stick with the system but I had to hand it to him," said Banal.
It would seem the only person that could stop Intal right now is himself.
"I'm re-energized, but at the same time, I need to control myself sometimes," he said in Filipino. "I am the one adjusting to Barako Bull. We had a new system, but we just had to stay aggressive."
Intal, who has played for 4 teams already in his PBA career, is expected to be a leader for Barako Bull this season as they aim to finally break free from mediocrity.
Intal is also likely to be included in the pool for the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament as Baldwin plans on adding the Gilas 3.0 members to his 17-man pool. – Rappler.com