GILAS Women's top player Jack Animam never finds it difficult to break the ice. Good thing, too, that her colleagues and coaches in her new Taiwan home responded in kind.
"When I met my teammates, I felt the warmth agad, na welcome ako ganon. Ngayong kasama ko na sila, 'yung bonding namin mas nagiging okay, unti-unting nabubuo 'yung chemistry," she told SPIN Life.
As her squads know, Animam's fire on the court is equally matched by her light and bubbly nature off of it.
She's currently going above all expectations in one blowout game after another with the Shih Hsin University Tigers, where she currently plays as an import. Animam is also serving another role: as a ray of sunshine among her teammates.
When not on the court, Animam could either be found having fun with her teammates-turned-friends... or living her best foodie life at the famous Taiwan night market.
"Sa language barrier hindi ganon kahirap, kahit di sila masyado nag-e-English. Ako na yung mismong nag-a-approach. Eh madaldal pa naman ako, tina-try naman nila tapos tinuturuan nila ako," she shared.
She added: "Gabi-gabi nasa night market ako, favorite food ko 'yung sausage and shrimp friend rice nila. I love to walk around lalo na pag walang training kasi ang ganda ng place."
It's been already a month and a week since she arrived, and the situation's been so good for Animam so far. She also mentioned that the plays are quite similar to the Philippines, and so it's easier for her to adapt.
Animam explained, "Sa training, puro kami run ng plays and defense. Kasi syempre bago lang ako, need ko agad maka-catch up. And these past few weeks puro kami practice game."
"Sobrang parehas ['yung level of play]. Kaya medyo hindi rin ako masyado nahirapan aralin yung plays nila kasi halos same ng ginagawa namin sa NU and [Gilas]," she added.
In the University Basketball Association that began last Monday, her team remains undefeated at 3-0, after conquering their first three games against National Taiwan University, Southeast University of Science and Technology, and National Taiwan University of Science and Technology.
They'll be taking a 24-day break before they return to battle National Taipei University of Business in December 11.