After initial reports of Ivy Lacsina sitting out until March due to a knee injury, the 6’1 outside hitter surprised volleyball fans last Tuesday when she checked into the game to start the second set.

Nxled’s Japanese head coach, Taka Minowa, inserted Lacsina to provide a spark off the bench after the Chameleons lost the opening set.

The National University product played until late in the third set, with Choco Mucho eventually cruising to a straight-sets win.

Lacsina finished the match with six points, a far cry from her averages last conference; however, she provided more than just points. She also uplifted the morale of her teammates, especially in the second frame.

“Naging mindset ko talaga mag-step up para sa team kasi siyempre lahat kami bata, so kailangan talaga may maging leader sa team kaya parang sabi ko na kung hindi man ako makaatake ngayon kasi medyo off yung atake ko the past few trainings, sa defense, sa pasa ako babawi,” Lacsina said.

Asked about the status of her injury, the spiker from Pampanga bared that she remains cautious of her movements, but she was also willing to play through if needed.

“Okay naman siya… pero medyo alalay pa rin. Pero sabi ko kay coach kanina na kung kailangan ako, kaya kong mag-risk,” she responded.

Lacsina added that her recovery is on the right track but admitted that she still has a long way to go.

“Getting there naman na pero siyempre madami pa ring kulang and madami pa rin akong kailangan trabahuhin especially [para] mawala yung ilang ko pagdating sa court.”

Reflecting on her team’s debut performance, the UAAP Season 84 women’s volleyball champion shared that facing the runners-up from the last conference this early in the All-Filipino tournament provided valuable insights into areas they can improve on in training.

“Maganda na rin na first game namin itong Choco Mucho kasi alam niyo naman na nasa finals sila last conference and malalakas talaga sila, kahit yung bench nila malakas, so siguro mas nakilala namin yung team namin ngayon kung ano pa yung kailangan ma-improve and kung ano pa yung kailangan naming trabahuhin pagdating sa training.”

Ivy Lacsina and the rest of the Nxled Chameleons eye its first win against the PLDT High Speed Hitters tomorrow at the PhilSports Arena, 4pm.