GILAS Pilipinas women stalwart Jack Animam is set for her much-awaited return a year after suffering an unfortunate anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear injury.
The 24-year-old ace will mark her official court comeback for Lady Macbeth Riots 3×3 Team in the Manila Hustle 3×3: Philippine Women’s 3×3 International Invitational on Feb. 4-5.
In the stacked squad, she is joined by other Gilas veterans Janine Pontejos, Khate Castillo, Trina Guytingco, Clare Castro and top national team prospect Kacey dela Rosa, who won Rookie of the Year honor in UAAP Season 85.
Ms. Animam plunged back to full-contact training as early as October, joining the scrimmages of the Gilas women team after missing time since January when she went under the knife.
The 6-foot-5 Ms. Animam last played here in the Philippines in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games when she anchored the country to a historic double-gold medal in the traditional 5-on-5 and 3×3 basketball.
She played overseas since then, suiting up for Shih Hsin University in Taiwan and in Serbia for Radnicki Kragujevac.
Ms. Animam and Lady Macbeth, however, will be in for a strong challenge against seasoned local squads and capable visitors in the Manila Hustle 3×3 that is presented by Uratex and Smart with the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas as one of the major sponsors.
Completing the cast are other Philippine bets Uratex Dream, Uratex Tibay, Discovery Perlas, Army Altama and Angelis Resort as well as overseas teams Zoos Tokyo and Owl.Exe Kujukuri from Japan, Korea’s 1Eyehansol and G2L2, Thailand’s Shoot It Dragons, and Singapore’s Jumpshot. — John Bryan Ulanday