While pondering next career step, Jack Animam rejoins Gilas Women
MANILA, Philippines — Fit-again Jack Animam is still pondering her next move with several options on the table, including a return to her old Serbia club and playing in Israel.
But one thing is certain, Animam is eyeing a comeback with the Gilas Pilipinas women for the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
After suffering an ACL injury in her left knee last year in Serbia while playing with ZKK Radnicki Kragujevac, Animam rejoined the national team practice on Monday, making the most of her short vacation in the country.
“Right now my agent is currently talking with the teams in Israel. But also my team in Serbia wants me back. But I don’t know. I told my agent since I’m getting out of injury, whatever you think is the best for me, especially coming back from injury,” said Animam after she watched her former school National University’s 67-44 rout of Far Eastern University last Sunday at Ynares Center in Antipolo.
“It’s gonna be a big deal for me to slowly build my confidence again and to get back to my 100%, pre-injury.”
“I expect to be back in a club team in a couple of weeks, hopefully. And then, in Gilas, SEA Games,” she added.
The former Lady Bulldog had an impressive first season in Serbia, averaging 17.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.5 steals in over 30 minutes per game in eight games before suffering a knee injury in a warm-up last year during her 22nd birthday.
The 23-year-old center, who got cleared to play last October 17, shared that her recovery process from her first major injury is great.
“I’m just so excited to get back out there and play again. All throughout my rehab journey, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. But along the way, I’ve learned so many things, especially [about] my body, the things I should do,” Animam said. “It’s just kind of a new experience for me since this is my first major injury. All throughout my UAAP career, I’ve never had any serious injuries. But this is really like a learning lesson. A lot of discoveries within myself.”
The five-time UAAP champion is enjoying her homecoming before deciding on her next professional career path.
“I will make the most of my time, while I’m here. Because I hadn’t seen some of my friends in three years, especially my former teammates. And then, as much as possible, I’m gonna train with Gilas all throughout the days that I’m here. And also, train with NU, if given time,” she said.
Gilas Women is eyeing its third consecutive gold medal next year.
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