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From Changsha to Manila, from Graduation to Awards Night: Jack Animam’s epic 24 hours

Last Monday was likely the most tiring day for 20-year-old Jack Animam.

“The past 24 hours was so tiring,” recalled the 6-foot-2 NU Lady Bulldog.

But at the end of the day, it was all worth it.

Coming off a historic eighth-place finish in the 2019 FIBA 3X3 Asia Cup last weekend in Changsha, China, Animam had to rush to the airport on Sunday evening to grab the first flight to Manila.

In less than 24 hours, she had her graduation march at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

However, as the plane landed on the tarmac of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, she and the rest of the squad had to wait two more hours inside the airplane.

“Nakalapag kami sa NAIA around 11:45, pero nakababa kami sa airplane ng mga 1am na, kasi daw hindi pa cleared yung parking ng airbus namin,” she narrated.

“Naka-uwi ako sa dorm ng mag-2:30 am na.”

Once she got home, Animam only slept for a few hours before heading to MOA. All she thought of was how hard she worked hard to obtain her degree in Marketing Management over the last four years.

“So from the airport pag-uwi, ilang oras lang tulog ko. Pero I didn’t mind how tired I was,” she gushed.

“Instead of thinking I’m tired, I told myself na I’m so lucky and blessed para maranasan lahat ng ‘to. Nakakapagod pero sobrang worth it ng lahat!”

Still, that was not it for Animam.

Just a few hours after her graduation ceremony, she and Ria Nabalan had to go to Amelie Hotel in Malate to receive another award – the Award of Excellence in the 2019 Chooks-to-Go Collegiate Awards presented by Sportsvision.

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“After pa ng graduation mismo, may isa na namang event na nakaka-proud na naman. Kasi na-recognize na naman kaming Lady Bulldogs,” she continued.

“It felt surreal.”

Tired and all, Animam still flashed a smile in front of the cameras and was her usual giddy self during the event itself.

For her, the plum they received as a team was a culmination of their hard work of trying to lift Women’s Basketball into the mainstream.

“Masayang-masaya ako na ganito na yung attention sa women’s basketball, unlike nung rookie year ko sa NU. People are getting interested or curious about the national team and pati yung UAAP,” she expressed.

“And given this attention, it helps us to you know boost our morale and keep fighting.”

After a long day, Animam finally got to sleep with a smile on her face. A full day indeed.

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