Early last week, Jack Animam arrived in Taiwan. And she will stay there until the end of the month.
Animam competed in the Buddha’s Light International Association Cup with the NU Lady Bulldogs in Kaohsiung; meanwhile, Gilas Pilipinas Women’s is set to make its debut in the William Jones Cup in New Taipei City.
The native of Malolos, Bulacan already misses home, but she shared that it’s an opportunity she can’t afford to miss.
“Sobrang laking bagay nito para sa akin, lalo na na last year ko na sa college.
“Dito ko makikita kung ano pa yung dapat kong i-improve and dagdagan heading to my last season,” the UAAP Season 80 Women’s Basketball Most Valuable Player shared.
In the BLIA Cup, the Lady Bulldogs finished in fifth place in the eight-team meet. During that tourney, the NU captain averaged 15.5 points and 10.75 rebounds in four games played. She was also able to learn more about their incoming rookies – especially Camille Clarin.
“Masaya ako na nabigyan kami ng pagkakataon para makapag-compete sa BLIA Cup against [the] best collegiate teams in different countries,” said Animam, who just graduated with a degree in BSBA Major in Marketing Management. “Malaking bagay sa amin yun, [e]specially sa mga rookies namin kasi as early as now na-exposed na sila sa intense na games.
“Para [rin] pagdating ng UAAP, yung kaba, takot, hindi na masyadong mangibabaw sa kanila. Alam na nila kung paano i-handle yun.”
It’s the same mindset she will bring to the Jones Cup, as it will be Gilas’ main tune-up for the 2019 FIBA Women’s Asia Cup this September.
“Siguro, the goal I want to have sa Jones Cup is to see the chemistry of our team. Especially, we have four Fil-Ams playing,” said the 20-year-old forward. Kelli Hayes, Gabi Bade, Arnecia Hawkins, and Mei-Lyn Bautista are set to make their national team debuts.
“Gusto ko manalo pero siyempre hindi magiging madali yun. But I know our team will do the best we can to get that W for the Philippines.”
Besides gaining personal experience, Animam is proud that the country’s women’s basketball program – may it be in NU or in Gilas – is finally alive and kicking.
“Super excited ako na finally may representative na tayo sa Women’s Jones Cup. Kasi isa din ‘tong avenue to see where we are to polish our system, and to build the chemistry of the team, lalo na we are also preparing for FIBA Asia and SEA Games,” she said.
“Favorite Jones Cup moment ko? I really can’t say kasi puro men’s lang sumasali dati. Siguro ngayon ‘pag naglaro na kami, may mga top Jones Cup moments na ako.”
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