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    Tue, Jun 28
    PHOTO: Marlo Cueto

    AFTER leading National University to a six-peat this past UAAP season, Jack Animam hopes her run of success will continue once she takes her act in Taiwan.

    "Syempre kung paano ako maglaro sa NU dapat ganoon din ako doon kung hindi mas higit pa kasi import ako doon. Bawal ang petiks," the 6-foot-2 center told Spin.ph.

    Animam has been enlisted as an import for Shih Hsin University for the upcoming University Basketball Association (UBA) season there, marking a new chapter in the career of the Malolos, Bulacan native.

    She is the latest Filipino talent to go overseas after FEU's Ken Tuffin in New Zealand with the Taranaki Mountainairs and Ateneo's Thirdy Ravena in Japan with the San-En NeoPhoenix.

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    Shih Hsin isn't really that much of a stranger for Animam as she and the rest of the Lady Bulldogs have routinely faced off against the squad in their preseason buildup.

    "Tuwing nagte-training camp kami sa Taiwan, isa sila sa mga kinakalaban namin. Yung mga coaches nila doon, close na rin sa mga coaches at managers namin," the 21-year-old banger shared. "Matagal na rin namin silang nakakalaban at nakakasama."

    That bond soon opened doors of opportunity.

    "Nagka-chat kami ng coach nila at sabi nila na gusto nga daw nila akong kunin. So ayun, pinaalam rin nila sa managers namin," she said.

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    Like NU, Shih Hsin is also the defending champion in its league, heightening the expectations that now rest in Animam's broad shoulders.

    "Medyo pressure talaga kasi syempre may expectations na sila agad and yun nga, champion team din," she said.

    But being a key cog of the Lady Bulldogs' immaculate 96-game winning run for the entirety of her collegiate career, Animam is used to dealing with such immense pressure.

    She's also a mainstay of the Gilas Pilipinas Womens team since 2015 and was a key part of the gold medal-winning side in the 30th Southeast Asian Games last year.

    That's why pressure is nothing new for Animam.


      "Tiwala naman ako na kaya kong dalhin yung leadership ko sa NU sa Taiwan. Package na yun eh. Kung ano ang kaya kong i-offer as a player, lahat yun ibibigay ko," she said.

      Animam is set to leave the country in July, in time for the opening of the next UBA season. She expects to stay in Taiwan for a year.

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      PHOTO: Marlo Cueto
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