FIL-AM forward Eric Menk is turning 40 this August, yet can still keep up with GlobalPort’s young turks as the Batang Pier plunged into a rigorous first week of practice under new coach Pido Jarencio in their bid to make a huge splash in next month’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Menk, named Globalport’s new team captain starting in the mid-season conference, said they did a lot of running during the team's first week under Jarencio who wants the Batang Pier to turn into a solid defensive unit with a tough mentality.
“Last week was kind of rough, but I’m getting in shape. There’s been a lot of running involved, though I feel a lot better this week,” the former league MVP told Spin.ph after the team’s Wednesday morning practice.
Nicknamed 'Major Pain,' Menk had enough energy to stay around for another 30 minutes of shooting practice as he intends to lead by example in a relatively young GlobalPort team led by first-round picks Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia, by example.
“I think there’s probably a little bit more responsibility being the captain here with so many young guys and me quite older now,” the former Lake Superior State alumnus said with a smile.
Menk has showed flashes of his old self during the team’s last two games in the Philippine Cup eliminations in Jay Washington's absence, producing back-to-back double-double performances against Alaska (10 points and 11 rebounds) as well as Barangay Ginebra (17 points and 14 rebounds).
After his first week with Menk in practice, Jarencio said he is convinced that the many-time All-Star has a lot left in the tank at 39.
“Bilib ako sa kanya (Menk) kasi for a 39-year-old, sumasabay siya sa mga bata. Eh para siyang 30 years old or 32 years old lang. Puwede at meron pa talaga siya,” Jarencio said.
The new Globalport coach said Menk will be teaming up with incoming import Evan Brock in the frontline.