Returning Danica Jose willing to double shift as Gilas women’s team player, office worker

Making a comeback after four years of inactivity wasn’t easy for someone who had already embarked on a career in sports marketing.

Danica Jose, daughter of former PBA player Bobby Jose, learned it the hard way.

A long-time member of the national women’s basketball team program, Jose had decided to give up her basketball career in 2015 and entered the world of sports marketing where she worked at ABS-CBN.

The former Ateneo stalwart is used to managing her time well ever since she was a student-athlete back in her UAAP days. At an early age, it has even become more challenging for her when she was included in the national women’s squad.

But after four years working in the corporate world, Jose has been lured back to play for the Philippine squad, an opportunity she cannot pass up. Just like in her previous routine, her schedule has become a lot more complicated and she has to divide her time – from her full-time work as a sports marketing personnel to being an athlete.

“I work 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in my full-time job,” Jose told FOX Sports Philippines. “It’s more of prioritization lang. If I’m in the office, I’ll make sure I’ll get the job done para pagdating ko sa practice, yun na lang iisipin ko. I have nothing more to worry about.”

According to Jose, being a student-athlete and a member of the national team before had somehow helped her in managing not just her time but her energy as well.

“It was a good practice na rin when I was in college na kailangan mo lang talagang i-balance both kasi they’re equally important,” she added. “Practice namin 7 to 9 p.m., but I make it a point to go earlier at work, so I can leave for practice. So talagang buong araw naka-program na siya from Monday to Friday.”

Being inactive for four years, Jose’s comeback trail had become more challenging. She needs to shed out several pounds and patiently waited to get herself in tip-top condition and regaining her rhythm.

She is expected to play a key role for the Gilas Pilipinas women’s team in the coming pre Olympic qualifying event in New Zealand less than a month from now and the Southeast Asian Games to be held in the country from late November to mid-December, especially with the uncertainty of center Clare Castro, who needs to get the approval of her collegiate squad Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws before rejoining the national quintet.

“It was very difficult because I have no competitive basketball for the longest team. I’ve been idle for four years,” added Jose.  “The last time I played competitive basketball was my last playing year with Ateneo in the UAAP. That was 2015. After that, I worked with ABS-CBN and the only basketball I had was pick up games here and there and that’s nothing compared to the training I had with the national team.”

But what prompted Jose to return to the national squad and reunite with her old coach Patrick Aquino?

“It started early last year, Coach Pat talked to me and we just met up. He discussed his plans that he’ll be back handling the national team again and if I’m aware, the Philippines will be the host for the SEA Games next year,” said Jose. “She asked me if willing pa rin ako maglaro, I have to try out for the team because that was the time he’s rebuilding the team. It took me awhile to decide because I have to make sure if it’s OK with the company I worked with.”

Over the weekend, Jose announced her readiness to compete when she joined the SBP 3 x 3 women’s competition sponsored by SMART and quickly, her teammates, other aspirants as well as SBP officials in attendance headed by Ryan Gregorio, special assistant to the president, were able to witness the second-generation player’s return to form.