European basketball

Quiet debut for Jack Animam as French club suffers blowout loss

Ariel Ian Clarito

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Quiet debut for Jack Animam as French club suffers blowout loss

TOUGH LOSS. Toulouse head coach Xavier Noguera huddles with his squad.

Toulouse Metropole Basket

After a yearlong injury layoff, Filipina standout Jack Animam feels her way back to competitive action in the premier French women’s basketball division

MANILA, Philippines – Jack Animam returned to Europe and competitive basketball on Saturday, February 4 (Sunday, February 5, Philippine time) after a year spent recuperating from a knee injury.

Animam’s debut in the premier French women’s division, the Ligue Féminine de Basketball, however, was less than auspicious as her team, the Toulouse Metropole Basket, suffered a huge 80-44 loss to Basket Landes.

Veteran guard Isabelle Strunc was the only player from Toulouse Metropole to score in double figures with 11 points. Six-foot Swedish forward Kalis Lloyd, the team’s leading scorer, was limited to just 5 points. 

Animam played just 17 minutes due to foul trouble as the Philippine basketball star finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal. 

Regan Magarit, a 6-foot-4 power forward who plays for Sweden’s national team paced Basket Landes with 22 points and 7 boards.

Basket Landes started strong in their home court at the Espace Francois Mitterand in Mont-de-Marsan and raced to a 14-2 lead. 

Animam came off the bench with 2:25 left in the first quarter and immediately made an impact as her two made free throws helped Toulouse Metropole bring down the deficit to six. 

But back-to-back threes by 6-foot-1 WNBA veteran Kristen Mann and French national team point guard Marie-Eve Paget extended Basket Landes’ lead to 14 points, 26-12.

Toulouse head coach Xavier Noguera fielded Animam the entire second quarter and the Filipina center responded by anchoring the Toulouse defense, registering two huge blocks in the second quarter.

However, Basket Landes found vulnerabilities in Toulouse’s perimeter defense, sinking 9 out of 26 attempts from the three-point region while shutting down Toulouse’s gunners, who went 0-of-8 from three.

The game was practically over by the end of the third quarter as Basket Landes built an insurmountable 66-32 advantage. 

The victory raised Basket Landes’s record to 5-7, while Toulouse Metropole fell into a tie for last place in the standings with two wins and 10 losses. 

Animam and her ballclub will have a chance to get back to the win column when they host fellow tailender Landerneau on February 19. – Rappler.com

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