Serbia-bound Animam says Filipino basketball must think 'out of the box'

Aug 25, 2021

THE Serbian coach said it himself: What landed Jack Animam an opportunity to play in the Radnicki Kragujeva pro club is her ability to be an all-around player.

This week, she is set to leave for Europe after three months in the United States, where she trained and also suited up in the Atlanta Entertainment Basketball League.

The 6-foot-2 Gilas Womens stalwart becomes the first Filipina to go pro in Europe.

Earlier this year, she also capped off a perfect season with Shih Hsin University in the University Basketball Association in Taipei, Taiwan.

Jack Animam continues her nonstop journey

Animam has spent 2021 racking up experience from different parts of the world.

Having witnessed different basketball cultures, she can't help but muse about the big gap in Philippine women's basketball that is likely stopping Pinays from taking their own spotlight in the international stage.

"Being out there, playing alongside the best of the bests, I see that our [Filipino] basketball is very traditional. Nowadays, the game is really evolving and we have to [adapt]," she said.

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Animam herself has progressed from multiple UAAP championships with National University, to a double gold from the 30th Southeast Asian Games, to a 16-game sweep in Taiwan, and finally, a stint in the AEBL. She's more than proven herself as one of the game's most dominant Filipina players.

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    But there should be more, she reflected, if only the grassroots programs in the Philippines emphasized the right skills.

    "One thing I've noticed is that big girls like me here are post players, but out there, we don't just do post moves, we also bring down the ball and other roles. Naisip ko, what if we teach them that in the Philippines?" she said.

    The 22-year-old added: "For instance, I'm tall but I can play point guard. For me, that's one thing we could improve on. Go outside the box to really reach the full potential of a player."

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