Grateful Eric Menk hopes fellow greats like Miller, Ildefonso get similar recognition
Eric Menk acknowledges the fans' cheers during his retirement ceremony. Jaime Campos

ERIC Menk went through his retirement ceremony with grace and class, savoring the moment while surrounded with friends and family on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

He hopes fellow greats will get the same recognition in the future.

"I don't want to be overly critical but there a lot of great players that has come before me," said after the ceremony graced by former teammates and friends like Danny Seigle, Jeffrey Cariaso, Bobby Jose, Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, and Jimmy Alapag.

Referring to fellow greats like two-time MVPs Danny Ildefonso and Willie Miller, Menk said they're "fellow competitors that I have a great deal of respect for. There's just a great number of guys that retire every year and nothing happens and there's no recognition."

[See As Menk calls it a career, Al Chua looks back at phenomenal rise of 'Major Pain']

That's the reason why 16-year veteran never really expected to be recognized, especially after being out for more than a year now.

Menk, 42, hopes fellow greats can enjoy the same recognition he was accorded by Alaska, the last team he played for in a career adorned by one MVP award, four championships, three Finals MVP trophies, and three Best Player of the Conference honors.

"My good friend Danny Seigle, what's gonna happen to him? He played 12 years in San Miguel and now he's in TNT. Those two owners don't like each other so is anybody gonna honor him?" Menk said.

"It's been a little bit frustrating and that's why I dont think anything will happen for me."

Make no mistake about it, Menk was thankful for being honored by Alaska, especially in a game where they were playing Ginebra, the team where Menk won an MVP and four titles. 

He just hopes that this ceremony will be the start of something good for retiring - and retired - players.

"Hopefully this is the start of something really nice. It's got a great response in the social media in the last few days, I think with the fans' response, I think it will happen in the future for other great players when they retire."

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