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    Gilas Women still a priority for overseas-committed Jack Animam, Ella Fajardo

    Jul 24, 2020
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    GILAS Pilipinas Women remains as a priority for both Jack Animam and Ella Fajardo as they embark on new chapters of their careers.

    Pat Aquino, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) program director for women and concurrent head coach for the women's team, said that he has been assured by both girls that they will be ready if the national team comes calling.

    "They will be good for us," he told Coaches Unfiltered.

    Both Animam and Fajardo are bracing for new challenges in their careers.

    Animam, coming off an undefeated collegiate career with National University, has been signed up to play as an import for Shih Hsin University in Taiwan's University Basketball Association (UBA).

    Fajardo, meanwhile, has just committed to Division 1 school Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, where she will see action in the Northeast Conference (NEC).

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    Aquino, however, has already been given the assurance of both players to be ready if a call up comes.

    "With Jack, we have that understanding with the Taiwanese coach that she’d be allowed when the national team plays," he said.

    "About Ella, the first thing she said to me is she wanted to go to this school because they were so lenient in sending national team players to go back to their own countries to play for the national team because she’ll have two teammates who are national team from Spain so with them and they played for the national team. I’m so happy that Ella thought about those things, and with the schedule of FIBA, they can still play for us."


      The Gilas Women's team schedule remains in limbo due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, although Aquino said that the program remains ready in the event that Fiba and the government gives the green light for them to return to action.

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      "There was supposed to be a lot of activities and tournaments for this year but unfortunately, the pandemic really halted everything," he said.

      Among those tournaments affected for the women's program were the 2021 Fiba Under-18 Women's World Cup in Hungary, the 2020 Fiba 3x3 Under-23 World Cup in China, and the 2020 Jones Cup.

      "Again, we’ll have to start maybe next year and prepare for the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam and probably the FIBA Asia Cup also," he said.

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      PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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