THEIR friendship goes a long way back that JC Intal talked to his close pal Doug Kramer first before making official his PBA retirement.
The 37-year-old Phoenix wingman said he went out to see his college buddy and had a long chat with him about his decision to finally walk away from the game.
"Oo naman, bago ako nag-announce ng retirement ko sa social media, I went to his house. Siyempre, nag-swab muna ako," said Intal smiling, obviously stressing he still observed the proper health protocol even upon meeting his best friend.
"Nag-usap kami and very supportive naman siya."
Intal made his retirement formal following a moving post in his social media account reflecting on his long basketball journey, including the last 13 years playing in Asia's first play-for-pay league.
Ironically, he shared almost the same path as Kramer did.
The two were college teammates at Ateneo, made themselves available in the PBA draft the same year in 2007 and were selected one after the other by Air21 in the first round, with Intal getting picked at no. 4 followed by Kramer.
Both players would play on for other teams later on, but found themselves reunited at Phoenix by the tailend of their respective pro careers.
A season after the 6-foot-5 Kramer called it quits, Intal followed suit.
Initially, the two were just looking to play in the league for 10 years.
"After 10 years siyempre, pumapasok na rin sa isip namin yung retirement," said the man who goes by the moniker 'The Rocket.'
"Nauna siya ng one year na mag-retire sa akin," Intal added. "Sabi niya wish niya sana mapanood pa ako for another year."
In as much as Intal feels he's still good to play for a year or two, he thought nonetheless this is already the perfect time to hang his jersey.
"Iba na talaga ngayon yung panahon," said Intal, who admitted pondering about the current pandemic situation shortly after the Fuel Masters' campaign in the Philippine Cup bubble came to an end.
"Noong December, most of the time nasa art studio ako, so parang naiba na rin yung focus ko, nawala na rin sa basketball," said Intal, who also comes from a family of artist. "So I have to shift my focus na sa ibang preparation outside of basketball."