Asi Taulava and Eric Menk, together at last in one team.
The two men are scheduled to join the San Miguel Beermen for the fourth season of the ASEAN Basketball League after signing separate deals this week.
“It will be awesome,” said Taulava. “The Rock and Major Pain together.”
Taulava will join the Beermen in October, while Menk is scheduled to transfer to the team after one last tour of duty with Ginebra in the Philippine Cup.
The careers of the two men, who have played together in national squads in 2002 and 2007, have long been intertwined. They began their rivalry in the Philippine Basketball League, with Menk leading the charge for Tanduay and Taulava starring for Blu Detergent.
They both entered the PBA in 1999, leading the strongest wave of the Fil-Am invasion. They’ve both won the league’s Most Valuable Player trophies — Taulava in 2003, Menk in 2004.
Taulava said that despite their rivalry, they always wanted to share the same uniform.
They will finally get the chance to play together as part of the same club when the next season of the ABL tips off.
“We both wanted to [be teammates], but it never happened,” said Taulava. “Hope it pushes through this time.”
Taulava is coming off a resurgent season. The 39-year-old slotman improved on his averages with Meralco this past season, averaging a double-double in the Governors’ Cup.
Things haven’t gone as smoothly for Menk, who is coming off the worst season of his career while battling injuries. He played in just seven games for Ginebra, posting career lows in minutes (8.9) and scoring (1.7).
At San Miguel, both men have something to prove. For Taulava, it’s a chance to show his strong showing last season was not a fluke. For Menk, it’s one last shot to show he could still contribute.
Taulava is confident they could pull it off. “We bring out the best in each other,” he said.
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