MANILA, Philippines — Kamille Cal has decided to turn pro with the newest Premier Volleyball League team, Nxled Chameleons.
The Philippine women’s volleyball team setter was close to ending her one-year residency with the University of the Philippines ahead of the UAAP Season 86 next year. But “unforeseen situations and internal concerns” that surrounded the Fighting Maroons the past months led to a change of heart.
“It was really a challenging time for everyone and training was postponed for about three months and in the middle of it all, I was already feeling frustrated because three months of no training can impact an athlete’s progress big time,” Cal said in a statement through her management, Virtual Playground. “So I was weighing my options on whether it was still healthy for me and my career to stay in UP or move forward to PVL.”
“I really enjoyed life as a UP student-athlete. I unlocked a lot of new perspectives in life I know I haven’t fully served the team because I didn’t play for them in the UAAP after serving residency. It saddens me because I really prepared for it but I hope I still get to serve UP on a higher level by doing good on my next path.”
Cal decided to take a leap to the PVL after more than a year of training with the Fighting Maroons and coach Shaq Delos Santos, who wasn’t retained when the team decided to take another direction with new UP volleyball program director Oliver Almadro
“It’s really exciting being part of NXLed. It’s a team with younger players like myself and there is less pressure so we can just focus on growth and progress. So it’s really a fresh start for everyone,” said Cal, who received offers from two other teams before choosing Akari’s sister squad. “Other teams may have veterans but I know the hardest part always comes during the start. Eventually, just like any newly built team, we’ll have more veterans & more experience. But for now, all we’re taking are learnings as we gear up for our first conference together.”
“The higher the level, the bigger the chance to grow. Playing against established teams and respected players excites me because I know it will force me to do better, too. I’m nervous to come out of my comfort zone but I’m really all for growth so I’m up for the challenge,” she added.
Cal played one season with National University in 2022 as a third-stringer to Lams Lamina and Joyme Cagande in their perfect 16-0 title run. She is eager to bring all her learnings from high school and her two college schools including a couple of national team stints when she joins the Chameleons.
“I learned so much from these teams. At NU, I was with them for eight years and it is where I’ve come to love the sport. I learned the characters that make a champion. From high school to college, I am proud to say I was part of a culture of hustle, resilience, discipline, and respect for the game and everyone who’s part of it,” she said. “On the other hand, UP taught me to be versatile. I was challenged to be stronger and more independent while still being one of the leaders. It was also such a good experience to be trained by Coach Shaq whom I know trained a lot of good setters in the PVL like Ate Rhea Dimaculangan and Gel Cayuna. I learned a lot from him and these, along with my learnings from NU, I plan to take with me as I head on to PVL.”
Cal will be joining former Akari players Jho Maraguinot, Chiara Permentilla, Lycha Ebon, Cams Victoria, Krich Macaslang, Dani Ravena, and Rachel Jorvina in the PVL All-Filipino Conference in October.
“I feel and know I’m in the right hands,” she said referring to Nxled and her new management Virtual Playground. “I’m just excited. Despite being new, they make us feel so warm and settled. They are providing everything we need so that we can focus on just getting better every day.”
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