A final salute to Major Pain

Paul Lintag on May 07, 2017 08:18 PM
A final salute to Major Pain
Eric Menk got a fitting tribute Sunday as he wrapped up his colorful PBA career.

Alaska did the most Alaska thing ever after arranging a special tribute to Eric Menk Sunday during halftime of the Aces' 2017 PBA Commissioner's Cup matchup against Brgy. Ginebra.

While Menk spent the the tail end of his colorful PBA career with the Aces, Major Pain's best years were spent with the barangay, and so honoring him with the Gin Kings also playing almost made too much sense.

Menk got a fitting exit Sunday, with Alaska retiring his jersey no. 30 with many of his former teammates and rivals in attendance inclduding Ginebra's Mark Caguioa and Jay-jay Helterbrand, Jimmy Alapag, and Danny Seigle.

"Thank you so much. The first thing I want to say is I'm just very blessed to play in the PBA for as long sa I have, and for the teams and people that i've played with and I've played for, I'm very, very thankful," the 42-year-old Menk said on center court.

"I just want to say thank you, it is great to see. I want to thank Alaska for putting this thing together. It's good to see all Ginebra fans. I haven't played for them for five years but the response I've gotten the last few days from many of their fans and former teammates and former coaches has been overwhelming," he added as the Big Dome showered him with cheers.

Menk was elevated to the PBA in 1999 after Tanduay returned to the Association from the now-defunct PBL.

In 2001, Major Pain was traded to the Gin Kings and played there until 2013. Throughout his stay with Ginebra, Menk won a total of four PBA titles and was Finals MVP in three of those championship series.

His best year has to be the 2004-2005 season when he won the Most Valuable Player award and helped Ginebra win the transition Fiesta Conference and the 2005 Philippine Cup.

Naturally, that season was also when Menk had perhaps his most memorable PBA moment.

"I think the best game that I ever played was in 2005 in Game 6 of the All-Filipino Finals. We won the championship that night. I had 39 points and 19 rebounds with Ginebra," Menk said, referring to the Gin Kings 96-86 victory over the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals over a decade ago.

"That was the peak of my career. I'll always think fondly of my time with Ginebra and Tanduay. I won't forget about my first team. They gave me my first shot here," he added.

After his stint with the Gin Kings, Menk spent time in the ABL, teaming up with Asi Taulava for the San Miguel Beermen.

He returned to the PBA in the 2013-2014 season, signing with Globalport before signing with Alaska a year later.

Menk wrapped up his PBA career as a member of the league's 40 Greatest Players.

He scored 6,604 points and grabbed a total of 4,456 rebounds on top of three Best Player of the Conference Awards and 10 All-Star selections.



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