Photo: Premier Volleyball League

The Nxled Chameleons had another impressive campaign in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL).

After turning heads in their debut conference last year, the Chameleons entered the new season retooled with the addition of star player Ivy Lacsina — and once again, they showed promise.

Let’s look back at Nxled’s performance in the recently concluded All-Filipino tournament.

Nxled’s start to the conference wasn’t ideal. They began their campaign with straight-sets losses against the giants of the league: Choco Mucho (12-25, 22-25, 18-25), PLDT (17-25, 23-25, 22-25), and Cignal (21-25, 17-25, 21-25).

In those matches, the Chameleons put up a fight despite suffering a string of losses.

In the next game against Galeries Tower, Nxled finally ended the drought with a sweep of the Highrisers (25-21, 25-18, 25-15). Lacsina propelled the Chameleons to their first win with 17 points, while Lycha Ebon and Cams Victoria chipped in 15 and 10 points, respectively.

However, Coach Taka Minowa’s crew could not ride the momentum, as they went on to lose their next two matches.

Nxled could not pick up the pieces against their sister team Akari, losing 17-25, 19-25, 20-25. Then, it lost to Chery Tiggo in four sets (25-23, 23-25, 16-25, 20-25) despite double-digit scoring from Lacsina (20 points), Ebon (14 points), Victoria (12 points), and Jhoana Maraguinot (11 points and 31 excellent receptions).

The Chameleons had a losing record during that stretch, but things were about to improve from that point.

Lacsina and company bounced back immediately by defeating Strong Group Athletics in three sets (25-16, 25-16, 25-15). After their second victory, Chiara Permentilla provided a spark off the bench to help Nxled secure a five-set win against the Farm Fresh Foxies.

The Chameleons displayed a collective effort on the court as Lacsina led the scoring with 21 points. Ebon made another solid contribution with 17 markers, while Permentilla and Victoria added 16 points.

In their next game, they suffered another setback against the defending champions, Creamline, with a score of 22-25, 12-25, 20-25. However, one could see a noticeable difference. Despite losing, they displayed confidence and bravery against the heavyweights.

The Chameleons kept their heads high and turned their focus on the Capital1 Solar Spikers.

Victoria played her best game yet, scoring 17 points built from 14 attacks and three blocks to tow Nxled to its fourth win (25-13, 25-23, 25-22).

In their last match, Nxled faced another championship-caliber team: the Petro Gazz Angels.

The Chameleons stunned the Angels in the opening set but then lost the next three frames, ending up with a 4-7 record.

Lacsina shined the brightest for Nxled as she recorded a career-high of 28 points composed of 21 attacks, four blocks, and three aces, while Maraguinot saved her best for last with 15 points and 10 excellent receptions.

Nxled had the same win-loss record in their first two conferences, but there was definitely an improvement in the team. They put on gallant stands against the powerhouses and dominated the teams they should have.

Nxled Nation should be excited for the future because if the team’s first two conferences are an indication of what’s to come, there is nowhere to go but up.

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