Animam believes NU Lady Bulldogs played big part in rise of PH women’s basketball
MANILA, Philippines—The legendary National University Lady Bulldogs program under Pat Aquino defined the greatest collegiate basketball dynasty of this generation when they won six straight UAAP titles while dropping exactly zero games in the process.
In the middle of that legendary run is an equally gifted center in Jack Danielle Animam.
A vocal presence on and off the court, Animam said that NU did play a huge part in the development of the women’s game thus leading to the domino effect that led to the Women’s National Basketball League receiving professional status from the Games and Amusements Board.
“NU played a massive part because of the noise it made because for so many years the team never lost and was the champion every season,” said Animam in Filipino during a Zoom interview with Inquirer Thursday.
“It was during this NU run that people started to take notice that this is what women’s basketball is like it’s just that it’s not getting enough recognition.”
The Lady Bulldogs’ rise to power was so influential that the cornerstone of the Gilas Pilipinas Women’s team was essentially from NU.
Animam, however, wasn’t just for the collegiate game as she transitioned her talents to the international scene and helped lead the Philippines to an impressive double gold finish int he 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Be it in the half court 3×3 to the traditional 5×5, the Philippines conquered the region and Animam said that it was this achievement that ultimately stamped the women’s basketball scene into the general consciousness.
“The SEA Games had a huge impact, for me, because this was our first gold medal in the sport,” said Animam of the victory that ended the duopoly of Malaysia and Thailand in the discipline.
“It really showed that Filipinas have the talent to not only compete but win. So the SEA Games really created such a massive impact.”