IT has been a tiring few days for Jack Animam. But truth be told, she wouldn't have it any other way.
Representing the country in the 2019 Fiba 3x3 Asia Cup in Changsha, China, the bruising National University center teamed up with Afril Bernardino, Janine Pontejos, and Clare Castro to lead the Philippines to a quarterfinal finish on Sunday.
It was quite an accomplishment for these girls, especially that it was the first time that the Philippines participated in the continental 3x3 tourney.
But Animam's day wasn't done as she had to fly back home to catch her graduation the following day.
The 20-year-old arrived late Sunday, but was able to get to her dorm at 2:30 a.m., leaving her with two-and-a-half hours of sleep before waking up and preparing for her Monday morning graduation at Mall of Asia Arena to receive her diploma in marketing management.
And to cap the whirlwind 48 hours for her, she had to go that evening to Amelie Hotel Manila for the 2019 Collegiate Press Corps Awards Night as the NU Lady Bulldogs were honored with the Award of Excellence for their unprecedented 80 straight wins and a fifth consecutive women's basketball title.
Through it all, Animam is just nothing but grateful.
"I didn’t mind how tired I was," she said, with a smile still planted on her face as she received the award together with teammates Ria Nabalan and Rhena Itesi.
"Instead of thinking I’m tired, I told myself na I’m so lucky and blessed para maranasan lahat ng ito. Nakakapagod, pero sobrang worth it ng lahat. It felt surreal, na in just a span of a few days, sunod sunod yung buhos ng blessings ni God and ang sarap sa pakiramdam. I’m beyond blessed."
Animam admits that as humbled as she is with the deluge of blessings coming her way, what keeps her going has been the tidal wave NU's success has triggered, with more and more eyes paying attention to what the Filipina ballers can accomplish both locally and internationally.
"Masayang masaya ako na ganito na yung attention sa women’s basketball unlike nung rookie year ko sa NU," said the 6-foot-2 banger. "People are getting interested and curious about the national team and pati yung UAAP. And given this attention, it helps us to you know boost our morale and keep fighting."
That's why Animam has her full belief that with what they are doing, it won't take long before the Philippines can stake its claim as one of the best in the continent or even in the world when it comes to women's basketball.
"Hindi man kami yung nag-champion (sa Fiba 3x3 Asia Cup), alam ko na maganda naman yung pinakita namin and sobrang proud ako sa narating naming team," she said.