Jack Animam in her stint with Perlas Pilipinas in the FIBA Women's Asia Cup last July 2017
Photo from FIBA.basketball
#PlayLikeAGirl: NU Lady Bulldog Jack Animam is undefeated, undeterred
Luisa Morales (Philstar.com) - March 8, 2019 - 10:02am

MANILA, Philippines – They say that basketball is a man's sport, but NU Lady Bulldog Jack Animam wants to prove otherwise.

A dominant force in the UAAP women's basketball scene, Animam and the Lady Bulldogs are five-peat champions and have been on an unbelieveable 80-game winning streak spanning five UAAP seasons.

With her team dictating the standards of collegiate women's basketball, it's easy for a player like Animam to become complacent.

But for the NU Lady Bulldog, she plays for much more than another collegiate championship.

"What makes me strive to do better? Yun yung makilala yung women's basketball ng lahat," Animam revealed in an online interview with Philstar.com.

"Yun yung motivation ko kung bakit mas nagwowork hard pa ako. Para maipakita na hindi lang kami basta babae," she added.

Slowly becoming the new face of women's basketball in the country, it's difficult to imagine that Animam almost didn't play the sport.

"I started from nothing. It wasn't someting that I wanted to do," the four-time UAAP champion said.

"I never thought na one day magbabasketball ako... Pero here I am loving basketball [like] it was my first love," she added.

Animam had come into the game with zero experience, but went through more than a handful of challenges along the way.

"Ang baba ng self-esteem ko noon kasi parang halos lahat ng kasama ko marunong tapos ako ni magshoot o tumakbo hindi ako sanay," she continued.

Despite this, Animam worked hard on and off the court to become the basketball star that she is today.

At only 20 years of age, Animam has already represented flag and country in Perlas Pilipinas.

"Fortunate na part ako ng national team, masaya and sobrang dami kong learnings sa PH team na nadadala ko sa college," Animam said.

But the 6'2" center isn't just here to shut up and dribble.

As a rapidly rising female star in a male-dominated sport, the NU Lady Bulldog wants one thing: Equality.

"[There is] lack of exposure. Mapa-TV man yan o articles. Hindi aware yung ibang tao na yung women's basketball ay nageexist," she explained.

"They are blinded by the mentality that basketball is only for boys or men," Animam said.

Animam hopes for a more level playing field in the basketball world, whether you are male or female.

And with the way Animam and the Lady Bulldogs have changed the landscape of women's basketball in the country, people might just be forced to pay attention.

Animam is fighting another battle off the court, and it is one she intends to win.

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