'Best Player' Eric Menk says Alaska teammate Abueva makes game a lot easier for him
Alaska forward Calvin Abueva put together his fourth double-double of the season. Jerome Ascano

VETERAN big man Eric Menk was thankful to catch his second wind in a game against Blackwater on Friday night.

Now he's hoping it's the same for his career.

Getting unusually long minutes in only his second game with Alaska, the one-time MVP turned back the clock on Friday night in helping Alaska pull off a 69-56 win over Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup.

The 40-year-old scored 14 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in 27 minutes while starting in place of the injured Sonny Thoss, winning Best Player honors for the first time in a long while.

“Last year, I had few double-doubles, but it’s been years since I’ve been player of the game,” said Menk, who joined Alaska in the offseason from GlobalPort in a trade for two second-round picks.

[See Defense the name of game as Alaska stays perfect after rout of Blackwater]

Menk admitted he was dog-tired after playing 15 minutes in the first half, but said Alaska's rigid practices helped him get through the entire game.

“I wasn’t expecting that many minutes,” said Menk, who missed Alaska's first four games with a groin injury. “I had to admit that at end of the first half, I was a little tired but the second half, I was fine because our practice is pretty tough, though I never complained at the minutes.

“I always wanted to be out there, and I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

The former Ginebra star also gave part of the credit to Calvin Abueva, a constant double-double threat who, Menk said, made the game easier for him.

Abueva finished the game with 13 points and 18 rebounds for his fourth double-double in six games this season.

“He (Abueva) does all the work for me. It takes two guys to contain him so I’m free a lot down there," said Menk. He’s a nice player, and I like playing with Calvin.”

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