Former PBA MVP Eric Menk believes chances of a return to Ginebra, his home for 12 years, is far-fetched.
Although he didn't say it directly, it was evident in the words of the veteran big man that he considers his stint with a Ginebra team he led to four championships, including back-to-back titles in 2005, as a closed chapter in his long, accomplished career.
“Ginebra hasn’t really wanted me on the team the last two years. That’s just the way it’s worked out. It’s sad for me, but Globalport is giving me an opportunity here, so I will make the most out of it,” said Menk.
They Said It!
“I had some of the best moments of my career and some of the best moments of my life wearing (a Ginebra) uniform." - newly-signed Globalport center Eric Menk, who played 12 years for Ginebra
Still, the 39-year-old Fil-Am said Ginebra will always hold a special place in his heart.
“I had some of the best moments of my career and some of the best moments of my life wearing that uniform. Fans up to now hit me up on Twitter, text me … they’re always positive so I am thankful to them,” he added.
Asked if he is still open to playing for the Kings if the opportunity comes, Menk was no longer non-expectant.
“I am not even thinking about that. It hasn’t been on my mind for a while. It’s time to move on,” Menk said after his second day of practice with Globalport.
See video of full interview with Menk:
Instead, Menk is looking forward to a new beginning at Globalport, which signed him to a one-year deal on Thursday after acquiring the unrestricted free agent's rights from Ginebra.
“This (Globalport) is my third team in the PBA. At this point of my career, it’ll just be nice to just stick (with this team),” he said.
And now that he’ll be on the other side of the fence, Menk said he won’t be surprised if he gets a cold reception - or perhaps some boos - from Ginebra fans.
“Anytime you play Ginebra, it’s exciting because of the big crowd. It’ll be interesting to hear them boo me this time,” he said laughing.
The 39-year old cager admits he is now at the twilight of his career, and this is the reason he wants to make the most out of his one-year contract with Globalport.
“I am at the tail end of my career. But I still feel that I have value, I can help the younger guys. I am not the athlete that I used to be, but I am still a good basketball player,” Menk said.
“I am saving the best for last. I am in pretty good shape. I am going to do the best I can, we’ll see what I can do to help the team,” he added.
And with batchmates Asi Taulava and Danny Seigle still in harness, Menk believes that they can still hold their own against the young turks before they fade away from the limelight.
“When I first came in the league, guys like Marlou Aquino, Dennis Espino, Jun Limpot, Nelson Asaytono, Noli Locsin even Danny Ildefonso … these guys kicked my butt!” he said.
“The first time I played against those guys in the first round of the eliminations, they kicked my butt. Hopefully, some of the young guys who haven’t played against me yet or Asi, maybe we can return the favor one time … before they take over,” Menk added laughing.
“Probably this is the last gasp of this batch. We played together last season and we did well. That 1999 class will always be close to me, it was a big moment in Philippine basketball.”