For the past eight months, the Philippine Men’s National Volleyball team has undergone rigorous training.
Everyone sacrificed their time with their families, pouring blood and sweat for the honor of their beloved country.
Now, with the dust of the 30th Southeast Asian Games settled, the Filipino spikers can reap the fruit of their hard work — proving that the countless hours they spent inside the gym were all worth it.
“Siyempre, sino bang hindi magiging masaya, ‘di ba?
“Iyon ‘yung reaksyon namin. Unang-una, hindi naman namin ine-expect na makakarating kung nasaan kami ngayon, kasi ang hirap ng pinagdaanan namin, kung babalikan namin,” said John Vic De Guzman, moments after the Philippines’ historical silver finish.
“Sobra-sobra ‘yung binuhos namin. Ilang beses kaming napuyat, napagod, nagutom… ‘Yung mga families namin hindi namin makasama dahil sa dedication namin sa volleyball,” the team’s skipper continued.
Despite a heart-wrenching three-set defeat to Indonesia in the gold medal match, De Guzman and the rest of the Philippine contingent still exceeded their own expectations. Moreover, by seeing the number of fans in the arena grow after each game, the 6-foot-2 opposite spiker believes that they won something much sweeter than gold.
He also hopes that their podium finish in this edition of the biennial regional meet will only lead to good things for the rest of the men’s volleyball program.
“Sobrang tamis kahit hindi namin nakuha ‘yung gold medal kasi eto na ‘yung binigay ni God sa amin na mas mataas pa doon sa ine-expect na makukuha namin,” expressed the product of Benilde.
“Mas masarap sa pakiramdam ‘yung suporta ng lahat ng tao, lahat ng Pilipino na nanuod sa amin ngayon. Iyon din naman ‘yung plano namin from the very start — ‘yung tumaas ‘yung men’s volleyball sa industriya ng volleyball.”