AFTER playing some of the best basketball of his career for Barangay Ginebra, Eric Menk said it was a strange feeling going up against his longtime team on Thursday night.
“It was a bit strange at first, talking to Mark (Caguioa), Jayjay (Helterbrand) and Billy Mamaril, who are my former teammates, and just be on the other side (with Globalport),” Menk told Spin.ph after the Batang Pier dropped a close 104-109 defeat to the Gin Kings.
They Said It!
“It was a bit strange at first, talking to Mark, Jayjay and Billy Mamaril, who are my former teammates, and just be on the other side." - GlobalPort center Eric Menk who played several seasons for Barangay Ginebra
Menk played 10 seasons for the Gin Kings, helping the league’s most popular ballclub win four PBA titles while earning three Finals MVP awards in the process, before he was traded to Globalport about a week before the season in exchange for backup big man Bryan Faundo.
Although he was not used to going up against Caguioa and Co, the 39-year-old was all business as soon as he stepped into the court. 'Major Pain' went scoreless in his first game against his former team but pulled down three rebounds and had three assists in 17 minutes off the bench.
“Once you’re out there, I’m out there to guard JR Reyes, Greg Slaughter and Japeth (Aguilar),” he said.
Menk admitted it was a tough task going up against Ginebra's beefed-up frontline, but he reserved his biggest praise for Caguioa, who took over in the endgame to rescue the Gin Kings from what could have been a momumental collapse.
“They (Gin Kings) lived up to the hype. And Mark showed again in the fourth quarter why he’s Mark Caguioa,” he said. “We thought we forced him to make those tough shots but he made them, that’s what he has been doing for 12 or 13 years.”