Jack Animam ready to suit up every time Gilas calls

Jack Animam ready to suit up every time Gilas calls

/ 04:25 AM February 05, 2024

Jack Animam (photo above) acknowledges the Manila Hustle gallery. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Jack Animam (photo above) acknowledges the Manila Hustle gallery. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Gilas Pilipinas Women cornerstone Jack Danielle Animam has reaffirmed her commitment to the national basketball program even while she continues to ply her trade overseas.

On a break from her chores with Women’s Chinese Basketball Association club Wuhan Shengfan, Animam said she is constantly in touch with national coach Pat Aquino regarding the National Five’s training and competition schedules to ensure her availability.

“I always tell him my sked, and I ask him about his plans with the program so I could make myself readily available,” she told the Inquirer on Sunday afternoon, on the sidelines of Manila Hustle 3×3’s finale ruled by visiting ZOOS Tokyo at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

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The 6-foot-4 Animam is the team’s lone center, which poses unique challenges for the program as missing her would significantly slash the National Five’s collective size.

Addressing the need

Aquino, in a previous interview with the Inquirer, revealed that he is hoping to address such a problem by tapping Favour Onoh of University of the Philippines and Josee Kaputu of Far Eastern Univeristy as naturalized players. Without getting into details, he said on Sunday that the plan is progressing.

Gilas Women will have time to spare as the nearest marquee competition will be half-a-year away.

“The Women’s (Basketball World Cup) Pre-Qualifying Tournaments will be held around August, so we’ll have some time,” Aquino said.

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Animam, now 25 years old, shared that a lot of other overseas pro clubs are expressing their interest in securing her services, but none comes before her devotion to the coach she has won multiple collegiate titles and notched international milestones with.

“For coach Pat and the program, I will always be there—and that will never change,” she said. INQ

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