CALASIAO, Pangasinan — Renz Palma may have lost in the Slam Dunk contest for the second straight time, but he won over a lot of fans with his gutsy effort.
On Friday, the Blackwater forward lost in a dunk-off to Rey Guevarra of Phoenix Pulse after missing all his attempts in an ambitious bid to connect with Beau Belga on a lob pass thrown from the stands.
Before that, Palma drew cheers after he converted a dunk over Blackwater teammates Mac Belo, Paul Desidero, Ael Banal, Raymar Jose, and Mike DiGregorio, and NLEX cager Philip Paniamogan to match Guevarra's perfect 50 and force a dunk-off.
“Unang una, gusto ko talaga bumawi kasi last year, alam naman natin (natalo ako sa contest),” said Palma, who lost by by a slim margin to Guevarra in last year's All-Star side event.
Palma said he aspired to show fans new dunks even without the benefit of a long preparation. The unsuccessful attempt done with Belga was no exception.
“Nagkaroon kami ng lapses ni Kuya Beau na wala namang problema kasi wala naman kaming practice eh. Si Kuya Beau na lang kasi (magaling) ‘yung passes niya. Okay naman, wala namang problema. Talagang hindi lang namin nakuha ni Beau. Pero nung nakuha namin ‘yun, sigurado ‘yun (champion),” said Palma.
“Actually, gusto ko lang naman ‘yung bago. Kaya kahit hindi ako nag-practice, nasa isip ko lang, magtiwala sa sarili ko. Ginawa ko. Gusto ko lan makita nila na bago lahat,” said Palma.
After another failed attempt at the title, Palma said he is even more determined to finally win a dunk contest in the PBA.
“Tuloy lang. Alam naman natin ‘yung All-Star, para sa mga tao para makapagpasaya tayo. Next year, kapag nagkaroon ako ng chance, ‘yun na ‘yun,” said Palma.