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'ROCKET OUT' | JC Intal calls it a career

JC Intal will be remembered as one of the PBA's top dunkers. PBA Images (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—JC Intal, one of Philippine basketball's top high flyers during his prime, has called it a career after seven years in the amateur ranks and 13 seasons in the PBA.

"After 2 decades of playing the sport I love, 13 years of which in the PBA, I am officially announcing my retirement from basketball. Words cannot express how grateful I am to every single person who helped me make this journey possible—from playing for 2 years in Letran for high school, to 5 years in Ateneo for college, and 13 years in the pro league," the 37-year-old Intal said in an Instagram post on Sunday night.

Intal, known by the moniker "The Rocket", is known for his hops especially during his younger years, highlighted by his win in the 2003 PBL Slam Dunk Contest.

The career of the fourth pick in the 2007 PBA Draft blossomed when he was traded to Ginebra in 2009, and he put up career numbers right off the bat.

After winning his only PBA title with B-Meg in 2012, Intal found his way back to the team that drafted him, the first Air21 franchise which went by the name Barako Bull.

After leading the way for the Energy in the PBA's 40th season, he was called up to the Gilas Pilipinas team that won the silver medal in the 2015 FIBA Asia Cup.

He was kept in the lineup when Phoenix took over the Barako Bull franchise and remained with the Fuel Masters until his retirement.

The three-time All-Star is wrapping up his career with averages of 7.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.

"It is a bittersweet feeling for me to say goodbye to the game that has been a huge part of my life, but I am moving forward feeling happy and proud knowing I made the most of the privilege to play basketball professionally. It has been the honor of my life to play basketball. From the bottom of my heart, again, thank you. Rocket out!" Intal further said in gratitude.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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