Enlisted volleyball stars on duty in fight against COVID-19

Mark Escarlote, ABS-CBN Sports

Posted at Mar 31 2020 10:16 AM

MANILA, Philippines -- Enlisted volleyball players and coaches are working behind the scenes in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Athletes who are part of the different branches of the Armed Forces are serving in their mother units, heeding the call of duty as the country battles the global pandemic.

While others are actively deployed in the field to help curb the contagion, there are those like women’s national team assistant coach Kungfu Reyes who work inside the camps. 

“So far nasa work pa rin kami. May mga tasking for decontamination sa tropa namin, kami nasa QRF (Quick Reaction Force),” Reyes, who is a Staff Sergeant in the Philippine Army, told ABS-CBN Sports.

Since Metro Manila and then the whole of Luzon went under a community quarantine, military personnel were called to report to their camps for deployment orders. 

In the case of Reyes, who is also the head coach of the Army Lady Troopers in the Premier Volleyball League, he and his crew are tasked to work inside Fort Bonifacio.

“Nasa loob lang kami,” said the University of Sto. Tomas Tigresses mentor. “May quarantine area kami para sa mga tropa na nasa checkpoint. Ngayon kami nag-aayos ng facilities namin.”

Jovelyn Gonzaga, who is an Army Corporal, is also based in the Taguig camp. She and other enlisted members of the Lady Troopers are just waiting for their deployment orders.

“Nandito kami ngayon sa camp, naka-quarantine lang din pero ready for deployment,” said the national team member.

“For now naghihintay lang kami ng instructions,” said the Ilongga hitter. “In case ma-deploy kami sa repacking [of relief goods] at sa mess para sa pag-ready ng mga food ng mga sundalo na galing sa deployment.”

Gonzaga explained that their work if given the order is to serve the frontline soldiers deployed in the field who will be quarantined.

“Kami ang mag-ready ng food nila kapag ma-quaratine sila dito sa camp,” she said. “Kasi after nila mag-checkpoint and all, makaka-quarantine sila for 15 days [dito].”

Meanwhile, the 30th Southeast Asian Games silver medal winning men’s team head coach Dante Alinsunurin, setter Jessie Lopez and winger Ranran Abdilla of the Philippine Air Force are on duty in Villamor Airbase. 

“Nasa base po kami mga Air Force, duty kami dito katulad nang ginagawa namin ‘pag walang laro kasama si coach Dante at iba pang national team,” said the Airman 2nd Class Lopez.

Just like their counterparts in the army, Lopez, SSG. Alinsunurin and Airman 1st Class Abdilla and Jeffrey Malabanan, a reserve in the national squad, are on standby for deployment. 

“Naka-ready naman po kami lahat dito sa base in case na i-deploy kami sa labas kung need po,” said the veteran playmaker. “Kaya di rin kami maka-uwi sa family namin. Halos lahat kami nandito.”

This story originally appeared on the ABS-CBN Sports website.