JOVELYN Gonzaga capped her triumphant return to competitive play on an emotional high, dishing out the service ace that sealed Pacific Town Army's bronze medal finish in the PVL Reinforced Conference last Sunday.
The opposite spiker, who's steadily regaining her form after suffering an ACL injury two years ago, remembered to pay tribute to the Lady Troopers' battle-tested comrades who have yet to return to base from their deployment in the countryside.
“Inaalay namin ‘yung panalo sa lahat ng tropa naming na nasa field,” said Gonzaga, a corporal in the Philippine Army.
Philippine Army staff sergeant and Pacific Town-Army coach Kungfu Reyes echoed his player's sentiment, saying their participation in the league and eventual third-place finish was their way of lifting the spirits of fellow soldiers still fighting for flag and country.
“Patriotism through sports ito. May mga tropa kasi kami [na nasa giyera], na kami magpapagaan ng trabaho nila," Reyes said. “Kasi ang objective namin is to give physical fitness, morale, and welfare, kaya kami nagtatrabaho para sa pamilya at security ng mamamayan.”
Gonzaga typified the Lady Troopers' no-surrender mentality, anchoring her team's rally from a 6-10 deficit in the fifth set to pull off an 18-25, 25-16, 20-25, 25-15, 15-13 victory.
Reyes said soldiers can expect his team to continue giving their all in the conferences to come. “Gusto naming maipakita sa mga tropa namin somewhere na even for two to three hours, nakikita nila kaming mga katropa nila sa Metro Manila na nakikipagpukpukan sa sport.”