Longtime basketball teammates JC Intal and Doug Kramer are never shy of expressing their “bromance” for one another both on and off the court.
Starting as college teammates with the Ateneo de Manila Blue Eagles way back in 2002, the pair’s bond continued in the PBA, playing together with the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters.
After 12 seasons in the pro ranks, the 36-year-old Kramer has decided to hang up his sneakers for good and played his final game in Phoenix’s 120-117 win over the Blackwater Elite last Friday.
In a lengthy Instagram post, Intal detailed his admiration for the 6’5 slotman, who was beloved by every team he played for due to his leadership and professionalism.
“I witnessed your highs and lows during your 12 year stint in the pros. From our early years playing with Air21, to being a reserve in Ginebra for one conference, you never gave up and you proved everyone wrong,” Intal wrote.
“You are an MVP as a family man, a teammate and friend on and off the court. I’m grateful we got to be teammates in your last years in the PBA.”
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I have nothing but LOVE for you, @dougkramer! God blessed you with so much and basketball is just one of those blessings. What an AMAZING journey, brother! I've witnessed every single day in your career, from our college days, I saw how hard you've worked to improve your game that brought you to the pros. We played for 5 years together in Ateneo, we dreamt of playing in the PBA, and pursuing that made us even closer. I witnessed your highs and lows during your 12 year stint in the pros. From our early years playing with Air21, to being a reserve in Ginebra for one conference, you never gave up and you proved everyone wrong. Seeing you grow and play your best basketball during your days in Powerade made me really proud. I know you worked your ass off, and it paid off. Knowing when to retire is difficult for any athlete. As they say, you have to give up so much and start another life. Only few people know that it's a different ball game for you. You said goodbye to the game on your own terms. You are retiring as a winner not only in basketball but in life. You are an MVP as a family man, a teammate and friend on and off the court. I'm grateful we got to be teammates in your last years in the PBA. Continue to inspire more people and be a blessing for them. You've been my role model brother! Looking forward to playing billiards and golf with you haha! I honestly thought we were going to retire together in a few years, but God had different plans. I will miss our 1on1s, coffee talks in the morning, JT's manukan lunch, and mga pang aasar mo sakin! Haha! We are lucky and blessed to have a strong support system in our own lives. You won't reach this far and I won't reach this far if our partners never pushed us to believe in ourselves. We may not be superstars in our teams but I know it's our brotherhood that makes us stand out in my books. Thank you as always, @iamsuperbianca and @chekakramer. We appreciate you! You are our MVPs! All the best, Mr. Biceps! 💪 Love you bro! 🙏🏀 Cheers! 🍻 (thank you for the photos, Bief and Tammy! 📸 @fuelmasters ⛽)
Kramer, meanwhile, responded with a lengthy post of his own, thanking Intal for the impact he had on his basketball career and personal life.
“We’re more than teammates, we’re brothers. We originally planned to retire together, but you still have so much to give, and I respect that. You’re an amazing friend. One who’ll go out of his way just to spend time and enjoy our lunch dates and billiard games,” he revealed.
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Here's a reply to @jcintal7 post today. ❤️ . If there's one person in this league that knows the journey I went through since 2002, it's this guy. . Being recruited the same time in high school 2001, entering Ateneo 2002, losing together 2006 in our last heartbreaking championship game in college, then being drafted together in the PBA 2007, simultaneously picked no. 4 and 5 in the draft with the same team, then playing for 4 teams together in the PBA, and finishing my career with you at Phoenix. . All the emotions, the highs and lows in basketball, my courtship with Chesca, getting married and having kids and be ninongs to each others babies. You witnessed it all with me. We know each other so well and our love… Well… it makes @iamsuperbianca and @chekakramer wonder who's the real partner. 😂😂 . But that's just it, we're more than teammates, we're brothers. We originally planned to retire together, but you still have so much to give, and I respect that. . You're an amazing friend. One who'll go out of his way just to spend time and enjoy our lunch dates and billiard games. . So thanks so much for the beautiful message you left for me, the basketball memories we shared, and this friendship, I'm super blessed and appreciative that God gave me a friend like you. I love you bro! ❤️
After losing in heartbreaking fashion to the UST Growling Tigers in the Finals of UAAP Season 69, Intal and Kramer applied for the 2007 draft. They were picked simultaneously at 4th and 5th by the Air21 Express and went on to enjoy solid PBA careers.
(Image from Instagram/@jcintal)