Blackwater 'magic bunot' Renz Palma excited to face off with idol, UE senior Ronald Tubid
Blackwater's Renz Palma is looking to make a name as a lockdown defender. Marlo Cueto

RENZ Palma tries to continue to make an impression not just to his coach, but also to his idol this time as Blackwater takes on Kia in a fight for playoff survival in the PBA Philippine Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The rookie wingman earned praise from coach Leo Isaac after he provided a huge spark off the bench in their upset 106-96 win over San Miguel Beer last Friday when he scored all his eight points in the payoff period.

“Of course, I have to mention our magic bunot, Renz Palma,” Isaac said in the post-game interview.

This time, Palma looks to do the same to the person he looks up to – in fellow University of the East product Ronald Tubid of the Picanto.

“Idol ko rin talaga si Ronald,” Palma said in a short chat with after practice on the eve of their 4:30 p.m. matchup. “Talagang nakikita ko yung hustle sa laro niya tapos kung paano dumepensa.”

“Siguro pag nakatapat ko siya, syempre pe-pressurin ko, dedepensahan ko,” he added. “Ang sarap sa feeling nun – dedepensahan mo idol mo.”

Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy earlier went as far as comparing the 25-year-old Palma to Tubid for his athleticism and defensive prowess, considering the latter was once a member of the All-Defensive team in 2009 and a co-Finals MVP in the 2008 Fiesta conference.

And that’s what the 6-foot-1 Palma showcased against the Beermen, blocking two shots and adding two boards, and one assist – apart from his timely instant offense – in 15 minutes as a sub.

“Nagii-start talaga ako sa depensa, para makita nila coach, para alam nila kung anong maitutulong ko sa team,” the Malolos, Bulacan-born cager said.

“Siguro ready lang ako lagi para sa tuwing huhugutin ako ng coach, makakatulong ako sa team,” he added as he tries to help his team grab their fourth win in nine games.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos