JACK ANIMAM TO REUNITE WITH GILAS WOMEN FOR LOADED 2022 SCHEDULE
Coach Pat Aquino confirmed that Jack Animam will be reuniting with the Gilas Pilipinas Women team for a stacked schedule next year.
“We’re already talking with Jack. Sabi ko wag mo kalimutan yung country natin. Sabi naman niya she’ll be here in February. It’s just a matter of scheduling,” Aquino said on Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum.
Gilas Pilipinas Women squad is getting the much-needed reinforcement when they return to action in their potential stints in the 2022 Fiba Women’s World Cup Qualifying Tournaments in February and the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
The Gilas Women is hoping for a back-to-back top podium finish for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
The Bulacan native is now playing with Radnicki Kragujevac in the First Women’s Basketball League of Serbia.
Animam showed an impressive performance in her two games in the league, posting an average of 24.5 points on 71-percent shooting from the field, on top of 13.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 34.5 minutes of play.
“It’s amazing. We see what she’s doing right now. I didn’t expect from the start na magiging ganoon agad yung laro niya. But you know, that’s what Jack is. Alam mo naman kung paano maglaro si Jack, talagang todo lahat. And I’m just happy for her,” said Aquino.
The 6-foot-2 Animam is a great addition to the team which obviously lacked the ceiling during its campaign in Amman, Jordan during the 2021 Fiba Women’s Asia Cup.
The undersized Philippine team was outplayed by much taller and quicker teams by the likes of the eventual silver medalist China, world No. 3 Australia, and Chinese Taipei in the continental tournament.
The Philippine squad finished seventh place after its 74-70 win over India and keep its spot in Division A.
“Yung experience niya na nakukuha ngayon would rub off to the likes of Clare Castro, yung mga bago natin like sila Karl Ann Pingol, and those people na gusto pang bumalik. So sana lang magawa niya nang maganda para makatulong talaga dito sa team natin,” Aquino shared.
Gilas Women is expecting to start their preparations by November, just in time for the bubble training in January.
“We expect to have it by November maski thrice a week lang uli just to keep our physical shape and rhythm namin.”