Eric Menk deserved to have his number retired (or at least recognized as the people would say).
The Major Pain is a former MVP and at one point frequented double-double averages as if it is as simple as tying one’s shoe.
But here’s the thing.
At least… not with Alaska.
At the moment, the Aces have seven retired jerseys: Bogs Adornado, Jojo Lastimosa, Johnny Abarrientos, Bong Hawkins, Jeffrey Cariaso, Sean Chambers, and Menk. I know Menk’s number retirement is in some ways similar as that of the former Crispa great – who is more known for his efforts with the Redmanizers as well as the U-Tex Wranglers than that with Alaska.
But what about Kenneth Duremdes – a former MVP who enjoyed his best years with the Milkmen as well as Poch Juinio – a vital cog from the 1996 Grand Slam core.
Perhaps Willie Miller – who like Abarrientos and Duremdes, who a MVP award as part of the Aces?
Or maybe they can retire number 96 for Tim Cone?
The thing though about Menk’s number retirement is that if there’s one team that should be retiring Eric Menk’s number, that team should have been the Barangay Ginebra Kings. I am not saying that what Alaska did was wrong but they just manned up to what Ginebra should have done. After Tanduay’s disbandment, Major Pain stayed with the Gins the longest.
Aside from the MVP award, he had three Finals MVP citations.
The three Finals MVP awards could only lead to one thing…
HE LED GINEBRA TO MULTIPLE F’N TITLES!!!
Officially, Ginebra has retired the numbers of Robert Jaworski and Allan Caidic which kind of sucks because the best player Ginebra had at jersey number 8 is none other than Francis Arnaiz. And then there are Ginebra notables like Chito Loyzaga and Bal David. Scottie Thompson may be a revelation but he wears the same number as that of Noli Locsin.
Star Hotshots has officially retired the numbers of Alvin Patrimonio, Jerry Codinera, and Rey Evangelista but aside from James Yap, maybe they can hang the numbers of Dindo Pumaren, Kerby Raymundo, Peter June Simon, and Marc Pingris.
San Miguel Beer had the likes of Billy Moody once occupying Ato Agustin’s number six. The current number holder is Chris Ross. I know Ross is a big-time quarterback whose claim to fame is his defense but of the six retired jerseys (Caidic, Samboy Lim, Hector Calma, Yves Dignadice, Olsen Racela, and Ramon Fernandez), Agustin is the only player to win the MVP award for playing with the Beermen for an entire season.
Hopefully, San Miguel will retire the numbers of Danny Ildefonso, Dondon Hontiveros, and Danny Seigle.
Inasmuch as I applaud Alaska for retiring Menk’s number, Ginebra should have thought of this sooner. At the moment the Kings have this promo in which a patron could win an old school Ginebra jersey. This is the perfect opportunity for the Kings to retire the best players from these eras. Let’s have Menk, Locsin, David, Marlou Aquino (special case since Jayjay Helterbrand is equally a Ginebra hardcourt darling), Loyzaga, and even Dante Gonzalgo getting feted for their efforts.
It’s always a win-win situation for both management and fans to have the numbers of their favourite players resting on their proverbial rafters.