After finishing the training a few months back, water polo national team members Adan Gonzales, MacGyver Reyes and Abnel Amiladjid finally got their much-awaited promotions for helping the national team win a silver medal in last year’s Southeast Asian Games here.
The three, together with several more athletes serving in the military, received their respective promotions Monday, a year after the Philippines hosted a successful 30th SEA Games.
“Dahil doon sa pagka-panalo ng medalya sa SEA Games, binigyan kami ng promotions ng Air Force,” said Gonzales, who finished a four-month military training last August.
According to Gonzales, from a rank of Airman Second Class, they are now Airman First Class.
He and Reyes belong to the same unit with Sepak Takraw’s Rheyjey Ortouste and Mervin Guarte of Obstacle Challenge, while Amiladjid works with a different unit in the Air Force.
“Masaya kahit na natagalan gawa ng COVID-19 pandemic. Maski naman yung training namin umabot din ng ilang months, masaya pa din kasi na-bigyan pa rin kami ng promotion,” said Gonzales.
Aside from the three, two other water polo athletes are also in the military. Romark Belo and Maui Valdez are with the Philippine Navy and are embedded at the frontline since the coronavirus pandemic broke out in March.
Gonazles said that he and Reyes have been assigned to Air Force Basic Military Training School at the Fernando Air Base in Lipa City, Batangas.
After months at the base, he was able to finally go back home last Dec. 5 until 18, but had to undergo quarantine when he returned.
Gonzales said not being with his family is a huge sacrifice since he is scheduled to have a break Jan. 3 to 16.
“Ganun talaga… sanay naman tayo sa ganun kasi may mga tournaments kami na matagal kami nawawala kasi sa ibang bansa. Pero iba siyempre yung pasko… first time ko na mag-Christmas na hindi kasama ang pamilya,” he said.
As for their training of the national team, Gonzales said the coaching staff continue to give them online practice sessions.