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Jack Animam glad to have fellow 6-footer Kelli Hayes in Perlas


For the past two years, 6-foot-3 Jack Animam has been tasked to man Perlas Pilipinas’ post during international competitions.

After all, only she and 6-foot-4 Clare Castro can defend the giants of the world.

UAAP-81-Women-FEU-vs.-NU-G2-Animam-Castro-4627 Jack Animam glad to have fellow 6-footer Kelli Hayes in Perlas Basketball News Perlas Pilipinas  - philippine sports news

And so, when Filipino-American Kelli Hayes arrived, the 20-year-old National University senior could not hide her glee.

“Siyempre, masaya ako,” Animam said about Hayes, who stands at 6-foot.

“Sabi niya kambal daw kami.”

But when Animam got to play with Hayes, the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player was surprised with how the UCLA product played.

Instead of operating down the post, Hayes was playing from the top of the perimeter.

Yes, she is a natural guard.

And this would greatly help Perlas come the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup and the SEA Games, according to the national team mainstay.

“First impression ko kay Kelli… Nung dumating siya, ‘kala ko big yung lalaruin niya like quatro,” shared Animam.

“Pero ‘yun pala guard.

“Ang laki niya para sa posisyon niya, which is good. Malaking bagay ‘yun. Sobrang dami niyang magagawa. Hindi alam ng kalaban kung ano gagawin niya. Tapos magugulat na lang sila na she can shoot threes. Masu-surprise talaga sila,” she continued.

Still, Hayes is willing to play any position for Perlas as long as it would help the team.

“I’m excited about that. Just bringing my best self may that be communicating, being a leader, rebounding, being a defensive player, being a scorer… It’s being a universal utility player,” said Hayes.

“Whatever they want me to do, I’m going to do it.”

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