FORMER PBA superstar Eric Menk hasn’t touched a basketball since San Miguel Beer won a first-ever championship in the Asean Basketball League, but he is willing to listen and consider returning to the PBA should a call come from Barangay Ginebra.
“If I ever I get a call-up from Ginebra? I’ll pick up the phone and listen,” Menk told Spin.ph on Wednesday. “But no, I haven’t heard of it (possible call-up).”
Talk of Menk’s possible return to Ginebra surfaced just weeks after Rudy Hatfield officially announced his retirement after 14 years in the pro league. New Kings coach Ato Agustin said he is open to the idea of bringing back the player known as 'Major Pain' to fill up his depleted frontline.
Menk, who turned 39 last Saturday, said no Ginebra official had called to discuss his possible return to the league’s most popular ballclub. He was actually placed on the Gin Kings’ inactive list last year before San Miguel Corp. transferred him to its ABL team, where he teamed up with Asi Taulava.
For now, Menk said he is enjoying his "semi-retired life" as he awaits the birth of his baby girl with wife Erin.
Menk also said he wouldn’t be bitter should he retire for good, considering the way his season ended with a championship with the Beermen.
“I’m enjoying it (time out of basketball). I haven’t touched the ball since June 12 (the day after San Miguel won the ABL title). We won 25 of 29 games in the ABL. It can’t get any better than that,” said Menk.
Menk has been a proven winner since arriving as a Fil-American forward for the Tanduay Rhum Masters in the Philippine Basketball League.
Before jumping to the PBA in 1999 as a direct hire by Tanduay, Menk won three MVP awards with the Rhum Masters in the PBL, helping the team win several crowns in the amateur ranks with now Ginebra team manager Alfrancis Chua as coach.
Menk won his only PBA MVP during the 2004-2005 season, when he led Ginebra to the transition Fiesta Conference title and the Philippine Cup. He also played a key role in Ginebra's conquest of the 2008 Fiesta Conference, the last PBA title for the Gin Kings.