PHOTO: Christian Palma, Nicole De Los Reyes

INDIVIDUALLY, popular athlete couple Christian Palma and partner Nicole De Los Reyes could easily carve their own paths in separate athletic careers.

De Los Reyes, 23, is currently part of the Glutagence Glow Boosters, a team participating in the very first season of the Women's National Basketball League of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Palma, while still recovering from his ACL injury, will suit up as a collegiate player in a prestigious university that his camp is yet to reveal.

But together, they're even more dynamic.

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    The influencer couple recently graduated from a one-month training course in the Philippine Navy Reserve Force.

    This shared journey, for them, is life-changing.

    "Everything just came in God's perfect timing talaga," De Los Reyes told SPIN Life. "I just met Christian this year pero matagal na akong nagpa-participate sa Navy activities but hindi officially. Tapos when we got together, niyaya ko siya."

    A file photo of Christian Palma

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    How Christian Palma joined the Navy Reservists

    Palma, who's part of a popular vlogging group, didn't seem interested to sign up for the military at first, as he was focused on basketball.

    "Sabi ko, anything that's not related to basketball is a distraction, pero ayan after one full month of training -blended learning, natapos namin," he said.

    Their training began sometime late in July, and ended last week.

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    As athletes, who are pretty much familiar with physical exhaustion, they said that Navy training was a different beast altogether.

    "Sobrang magkaiba talaga, iba 'yung pagod dito. Si Christian nga, never ko siyang nakitang napagod sa basketball before, pero dito sa Navy, grabe," De Los Reyes, nicknamed 'Queen of the Court', shared.

    Palma added: "Dito ko lang na-feel 'yung sa sobrang pagod mo maiiyak ka na lang. Pinaglalakad kami for eight hours [na] may dalang rifle, backpack and in combat shoes. Tulog namin three hours, pati pagkain namin 10 seconds lang."

    In the program, they picked up the skills they needed to become part of the navy. And , now, as official reservists, they're on call if and when their country needs them.

    What Christian Palma, Nicole De Los Reyes learned from reservist program

    Palma and De Los Reyes also bared that what they learned in their military training could easily be brought to the court as they continue with their athletic careers.

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    "Teamwork, camaraderie, time management, and discipline, yan mga natutunan namin," the couple said. "Dito hindi ka pwedeng boss. Dapat humble ka, marunong kang makisama, at mapagpasensya."

    They continued: "Walang special treatment dito, mapa-sikat ka or artista ka, pare-pareho kayo ng pagdadaanan."

    At the end of the course, they finished as Top 1 and 2 on their Class of 62 and garnered 'Tarzan and Jane' award. The honor is given to the 'strongest' male and female on their batch.

    "It's a rare experience, and we'll surely take it with us on and off the court," they added.

    And to take their service to the nation even further, Palma and De Los Reyes bared they will also register as voters for the 2022 national elections before the deadline at the end of the month.

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    PHOTO: Christian Palma, Nicole De Los Reyes
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