IT appears Globalport is waiting for one last major piece in its bid to assemble a truly competitive team for the coming PBA season.
And he goes by the name of 'Major Pain.'
Moments after trading for San Mig veteran Leo Najorda and rookie pick Justine Chua in exchange for no. 7 selection Isaac Holstein, the Batang Pier are still in search for one more missing piece as they try to make a complete turnaround in their campaign.
And the name Eric Menk, the former league MVP, is reportedly high on the franchise’s list.
“Kinakausap na ng mga bossing namin si Eric,” said a source privy to the ongoing negotiations between the team and the former Barangay Ginebra star.
Acquiring Menk is expected to bolster Globalport’s frontline already manned by holdovers Jay Washington, Jondan Salvador, youngster Kelly Nabong and newly-acquired Enrico Villanueva.
Menk can serve as mentor to some of Globalport's young players, from Chua to fellow rookies Nico Salva, Terrence Romeo and RR Garcia.
Menk was relegated to the unrestricted free agent by Ginebra last season prior to taking a tour of duty with San Miguel Beer and winning a championship in the Asean Basketball League.
“Tinatantya na lang ang conditioning ni Eric, kasi nadinig namin ilang buwan na siyang walang laro. June 12 pa ata siya huling nakahawak ng bola,” said the source.
The Globalport coaching staff wants Menk to revitalize the team’s young frontline, while giving the 39-year-old banger the chance to have a swan song in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
“Baka dun na mag-retire si Eric. Pero siyempre, he needs to prove his worth. Kailangang ipakita niya na worthy siya sa pwesto niya sa Globalport, ang dami nilang big men dun,” added the source.
Once considered as one of the best big men in the league, Menk’s career had been hobbled by injuries of late.
His numbers dipped nearly three-folds in the last six seasons from a high of 19.98 points, 12.05 rebounds, and 2.31 assists in his first seven seasons playing for Tanduay and Ginebra.
The former Lake Superior State stalwart suffered a hamstring injury in May last year that resulted in him losing his spot in the Kings’ rotation.
If signed up, sources said Menk could just turn out to be the final piece to the Globalport puzzle as the team currently has 17 players in its pool.
All 10 teams are allowed to lined up 14 players plus two reserves in their respective rosters.