From WikiPilipinas: The Hip 'n Free Philippine Encyclopedia
|Height||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|Team||Tanduay Rhum Masters, Barangay Ginebra Kings|
|Born|| August 24, 1974|
|College||Lake Superior State University|
|Awards||1-time PBA MVP (2004-2005), 3 time PBL MVP ('97,'98,'99), 3 time PBA Best Player of the Conference|
Eric Conrad Menk (born on August 24, 1974 in Michigan, USA) is a Filipino American professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for the Barangay Ginebra Kings. Known as the Major Pain, Menk was the 2004-05 PBA Most Valuable Player.
 Amateur career
Menk arrived in the Philippine basketball scene in 1997, when he played for Tanduay in the Philippine Basketball League.He made an impact in Philippine Basketball League being the first Rookie of the Year Awardee and Most Valuable Player Awardee. Aside from that, He also won two more Most Valuable Player Awards and helping the Tanduay rhum masters to become champions again. Along with collegiate stars Chris Cantonjos, Mark Telan, and role players Jomer Rubi, Aldrin Morante and ex-pro Bobby Jose, the Rhum Masters won numerous PBL titles during Menk's career. During his final PBL conference, Menk and Blu Detergent fil-am Asi Taulava was considered as one of the best rivalries at the time.
 PBA career
 Tanduay Rhum Masters
After Tanduay made its return to the PBA, the Rhum Masters were allowed to nab six players from their PBL squad. Menk headlined the list of those elevated to the pro ranks. Also, Tanduay drafted Filipino-American Earl Sonny Alvarado as the top pick, making Menk and Alvarado as one of the strongest frontlines in the league.
Menk would struggle in the first two games of his career. However, Menk made a strong showing in the All-Filipino Conference, leading Tanduay to a Finals appearance in their maiden season. While Menk was named as the Best Player of the Conference, the Rhum Masters were upset by the veteran-laiden Formula Shell Zoom Masters of eventual-MVP Benjie Paras. Menk continued his strong performance in the Commissioner and Governors Cup tournaments, leading him to numerous individual awards.
In 2000, Menk had another strong season for the Rhum Masters, as the team became one of the strongest teams in the league, acquiring Dondon Hontiveros and Jeffrey Cariaso. The team became a perennial threat to corporate rival San Miguel Beermen. However, disappointment came for the team as Alvarado was deported for falsification of documents. The Rhum Masters, who won Games 2 and 3 of the semifinals series against Purefoods, were eliminated from the series after its games won with Alvarado on the team were forfeited.
Menk's citizenship came in question as well during the Commissioner's Cup, after the league scrutinized most of the Filipino-foreign cagers' documents. Menk was unable to further proof his Filipino lineage and was suspended indefinitely, forcing Menk to end his season early.
His return to the pro league came more than a year later, when he was able to prove his citizenship. Menk played nine games for Tanduay in the 2001 Governor's Cup, as the Rhum Masters bowed out of the tournament early.
 Barangay Ginebra Kings
His debut with the team was delayed, as he spent his time with the Philippine National Team for the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. The Philippines finished in fourth place with Menk showing a decent performance in the tournament. In the All-Filipino Conference, Menk finally made his Ginebra debut but was unable to lead the Kings into the quarterfinals.
In 2003, Menk had a strong performance during the season but, still, Barangay Ginebra failed to enter the semi-finals of the tournament. Menk played in the 2003 PBA All-Star Game.
However, the 2004-2005 season marked Menk's biggest season yet. He led Barangay Ginebra to two consecutive PBA titles, winning the transition Fiesta Conference and the Philippine Cup. He also won the Best Player of the Conference honors during the two said tournaments. During the 2005 Fiesta Conference, Menk was suspended indefinitely by the league for failure to show additional documents of his citizenship on time, while spending some time with Team Pilipinas. Despite this, Menk still won the 2004-2005 Most Valuable Player Award.
Despite being suspended in Ginebra's remaining games in the last Fiesta Conference, he still piled up sufficient statistical points and votes to earn MVP honors. Averaged 17.5 points and a league-best 11.8 rebounds in 71 total games. Won back-to back Best Player of the Conference honors. His two titles for Ginebra were his first as a PBA player after leading Tanduay to numerous crowns in the PBL. Nicknamed Major Pain with the way he hurts opponents with his power inside the paint. Arguably the strongest man on the PBA hardcourt, Menk's presence will largely determine where the Kings will be headed this season.
Menk would return for Ginebra during the middle stages of the 2005-2006 Fiesta Conference. While he led the Kings to the semifinals of the tournament, they were eliminated by eventual champion Red Bull Barako in seven grueling games. In the current 2006 Philippine Cup, Menk's numbers decreased due to nagging injuries. However, he still played in the 2006 All-Star Game for the winning South All-Stars.
 International career
In 2002, Menk was selected to play in the national team for the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, South Korea. However, the country went home without a medal. Menk averaged close to 10 points during his Asiad stint.
In 2005, Menk was included in the national pool for future international competitions. However, with his citizenship still in limbo during the time, Menk failed to join Team Pilipinas in either the Jones Cup or the Brunei Sultan Cup.
Menk's citizenship has been questioned since he arrived in the PBA in 1999. But, unlike fellow Filipino-foreign cager Asi Taulava, Menk has less problems on his citizenship. However, the issue remains about Menk's mother whether she was a Filipino citizen at the time of Menk's birth.
He was suspended twice by the league. In 2000, the PBA suspended the then-Tanduay cager indefinitely for failure to submit proper documents on time. In 2005, Menk was again suspended for failing to submit additional documents to the league for clarification.
 Philippine Basketball Association
- 2004-2005 PBA Most Valuable Player
- Three-time PBA Best Player of the Conference (1999 All-Filipino, 2004 Fiesta Conference, 2004-05 Philippine Cup)
- Two-time PBA Finals MVP (2004 Fiesta Conference, 2004-05 Philippine Cup)
- Five-time PBA All-Star (1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006)
 Philippine Basketball League
- PBL Most Valuable Player (3x: 1997, 1998, 1999)
- First Rookie and MVP Awardee (1997)
 Philippine National Team
- 2002 Asian Games Team Member
- Team Pilipinas Training Pool Member
 External links
- PBA.ph: Eric Menk Profile
- BastaPinoy.com DOJ junks 6 Fil-Am cagers
- PhilippinesToday.net Menk's status still in limbo
- Eric Menk's College Statistics
- Manila Times: Menk named PBA MVP
|PBA Most Valuable Player|
| Succeeded by|
|PBA All-Star National Team - 2000 FIBA Asia All-Star Extravaganza|
9 Rodney Santos | 10 Danny Ildefonso | 13 Marlou Aquino | 16 Alvin Patrimonio | 19 Kenneth Duremdes | 30 Eric Menk | 34 Rudy Hatfield | 40 Noy Castillo | 41 Johnny Abarrientos | 42 Danny Seigle | 52 Andy Seigle | 61 Bong Hawkins | Coach Tim Cone