ERIC Menk, Barangay Ginebra’s longtime rock-solid center, sounded very much like a man in limbo at this stage of his PBA career.
Menk took to Twitter to vent his frustration over his current dilemma with the Kings, whom he said has made no effort to get in touch with him since their season ended a month ago.
On his account@EMenk30, the former league MVP tweeted on Wednesday:
Barangay Ginebra coach Siot Tanquingcen admitted that Menk's one-year contract with the Kings is set to expire at the end of the month and that the Kings have yet to open negotiations with the former league MVP on a new deal.
But contrary to Menk's claim, Tanquingcen told Spin.ph that he has already emailed the 6-foot-5 veteran center. However, he declined to divulge the detail of his message.
While the Kings' management has yet to sit down with the 13-year veteran, the Ginebra coach also assured the legion of Barangay Ginebra followers that Menk is still very much a part of the popular ballclub's future.
“I don’t know his Twitter account because I myself don’t have a Twitter account. But last night (Tuesday night), I sent him an email. Maybe he hasn’t seen it yet. But Eric is still very much a part of the team,” explained Tanquingcen.
But even if Menk, who turns 38 this Friday, gets signed to another fresh contract, the next big question is on whether the bullstrong center still can find a place in Ginebra's crowded frontline.
At present, the Kings are loaded with big men, among them Enrico Villanueva, Kerby Raymundo, whom they acquired midway last season, as well as Rudy Hatfield, Willy Wilson, and Rico Maierhofer.
Throw in Fil-Am 6-foot-4 swingman Chris Ellis and another foreign-bred Keith Jensen, who can play the No. 4 position with his 6-foot-4 frame, and definitely, Menk will face a lot of competition for playing time.
Menk only played three games in the last Governors Cup, due to a recurring calf injury. In the limited time he was on the floor, he averaged career-lows of 2.0 points and 2.33 rebounds in eight minutes of action.
The Lake Superior State University alumnus has seen his best days in the league while with the Kings. The power-playing Menk won MVP honors during the 2004-2005 season after leading Barangay Ginebra to back-to-back PBA titles – the transition tournament Fiesta Conference and the Philippine Cup.
He was also the 2004-2005 Fiesta Conference and Philippine Cup Finals MVP as well as winner of the Best Player of the Conference of both tournaments.
While the team has yet to officially talk to Menk, Tanquingcen said he has high hopes his two Fil-Am rookie recruits would be able to contribute immediately to the Kings, whose last championship was back in the 2008 Fiesta Cup.
Ellis and Jensen are athletic players who could easily run the break, help the veteran big men and Raymundo to clear the glass as well as contribute on offense anytime.