ERIC Menk was a double-double machine in his prime, but seeing new Alaska teammate Calvin Abueva put up his second 20-20 performance just five games into the PBA season left him in awe.
“He’s (Abueva) incredible. He’s just a wow man out there,” Menk said shortly after Alaska rode Abueva’s 23 points and 21 rebounds to turn back a fighting KIA Motors side, 85-75 on Tuesday at the Cuneta Astrodome.
"He’s all over the place, fun to play with, makes a few mistakes, but always makes up for it," the veteran big man said of 'The Beast.'
According to chief PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon III, the 6-1 1/2 Abueva became the first player since Asi Taulava in 2007 to have two 20-20 games in one conference.
Incidentally, Menk and Taulava also hold the distinction of having three 20-20 games in a conferences which they both set in 2003.
The 6-foot-5 Menk savored the chance to finally play alongside the energetic Abueva in his debut in an Alaska uniform after misisng the team’s first four games due to a groin injury.
The former league MVP marked his first game for Alaska with three points and six rebounds in 17 minutes of action, filling in for injured starting center Sonny Thoss.
Now that he’s healthy, the 40-year-old Menk said he’s glad to be part of an Alaska team that has the material to win another PBA championship.
“The guys (Aces) have been great. I’ve been pretty impressed with everybody in Alaska,” said the former Lake Superior State standout.
“I think everyone’s excited. We’re having a lot of fun, but hopefully, we’ll just keep getting better.”