The "Sol Train" Sol Mercado of Barangay Ginebra joins Staying MAJOR for its 20th episode. Sol was the 5th pick in the 2008 PBA Draft. Since then, Sol was an All-Rookie team member, a 2x PBA All-Star and a recent PBA Champion. Sol has led the league in scoring and assists during his PBA career. He has also represented the Philippines in the 2013 Jones Cup. After playing for 5 teams in his first 7 years in the league, Sol has found a home with the league's most popular team, Barangay Ginebra. He has been a pillar in their resurgence, helping Ginebra win the 2016 PBA Governor's Cup and also in getting them back to the Finals of the Philippine Cup.
In this episode, Sol talks about the recently concluded Philippine Cup, before going into his background on how he got to the Philippines. Mercado later discusses his well-traveled career, before eventually settling in with the Ginebra Kings. Before taking Twitter questions, Sol talks about some of his coaches and teammates at Ginebra and the potential he see's in their team. Him and host, Eric Menk also take the time to talk a little NBA (the Sacramento Kings & the MVP race). You can follow Sol at the following social media handles: Twitter & Instagram @M3rcMyWords
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"Machine Gun" Kelly Williams joins Staying MAJOR for its 19th episode. Kelly grew up in Detroit, Michigan and gained fame playing for Detroit King High School in the famed Detroit Public School League. After high school, Kelly accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Division I, Oakland University in Michigan. After college, Williams came to the Philippines to pursue a professional basketball career. Drafted #1 in the 2006 PBA Draft, Kelly has gone on to have one of the all-time great careers in PBA history. He has racked up many awards over his career, including PBA Rookie of the Year, PBA Best Player of the Conference, PBA MVP, 5x PBA All-Star, 6x PBA Mythical team selection. Kelly has been a member of 6 PBA championship teams and is also a multiple time member of the Philippine National team.
In this episode, Kelly talks about Talk-N-Text's Philippine Cup finish before going into his background and PBA career. Kelly talks candidly about a sickness that he was diagnosed with in 2009 that threatened his life as well as his playing career. Although his dosage has decreased over the years, Kelly is still on medication to this day to keep his blood platelet level's normal. Despite still playing in the PBA, Williams has written an autobiographical book, "Rising Higher" and has recently picked up painting. Kelly currently plays for the TNT KaTropa in the PBA. They are preparing for the upcoming PBA 2017 Commissioner's Cup. You can follow Kelly at the following social media handles: Twitter: @kelwilliams21 Instagram: @kelwilliams21dot
Staying MAJOR is brought to you by A-Game After Sport Rubdown. For more on A-Game please visit https://www.agamesport.com Type in the promo code: EMENK30 to receive 20% off of your purchase!
In episode 18 of Staying MAJOR we are joined by sports media member, Carlo Pamintuan. Carlo works for Sports5, where he writes and also is a member of their television staff, calling games for PBA Rush on Cignal TV. Carlo also writes for Slam Philippines and spent time with Gilas Pilipinas in 2015 and 2016, documenting their journey under Coach Tab Baldwin. Carlo also does play-by-play for the PBA D-League, while also serving as a media director for the Asean Basketball League.
In this episode, Carlo talks about his media background before diving into the deep end with host Eric Menk to discuss the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup Finals, between the San Miguel Beerman and the Barangay Ginebra Kings. You can follow Carlo at the following social media links:
Twitter & Instagram: @carlo_pamintuan
Staying MAJOR is brought to you by A-Game After Sport Rubdown. For more information on A-Game please visit https://www.agamesport.com
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Host Eric Menk breaks down the wild Game 2 of the PBA's Philippine Cup Finals.
Link to YouTube channel:
Alaska Aces head coach, Alex Compton joins Staying MAJOR this week to preview the PBA's Philippine Cup Finals. Coach Alex was born in Makati, Philippines and after being raised and going to college in the United States, Alex returned to his country of birth to pursue a basketball career. After having a successful playing career, where he played in the MBA, PBL & PBA, winning numerous championships and awards, including an MVP and Finals MVP, Compton pursued a coaching career starting in 2006. After 8 years as serving as a PBA assistant coach, Alex became the head coach of the Alaska Aces. Since taking over at Alaska, Alex has made the Aces one of the most consistent teams in the league. Despite not winning the crown yet under Coach Compton, Alaska has been a pillar of the PBA playoff picture, making 4 Finals appearances.
In this episode, Alex talks about recent happenings at Alaska, before he discusses his upbringing. Compton then goes on to talk about why he got into coaching. In the second half of the show, Alex and host Eric Menk, review the PBA semifinals before previewing the PBA Finals. Finally, Coach Alex takes Twitter questions from the fans. Alex is currently preparing his team, the Alaska Aces, for the upcoming PBA Commissioners Cup.
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In the 16th edition of Staying MAJOR, Coach Jong Uichico joins the show. Coach Jong has guided PBA teams to 9 PBA titles, twice being named PBA Coach of the Year. Uichico was also the head coach of the Philippine national team that competed in the 2002 Asian Games. Jong currently serves as a PBA Analyst on Cignal TV.
In this episode, Jong talks about the life of the coach in the PBA, some of his past players and teams, & the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup semifinals where both series are locked at a 2-2 slate. Uichico then takes Twitter questions before answering the show's final, signature question. This is a great episode in getting perspective on the game from a veteran, multi-championship coach, through his eyes. You can follow Jong on Twitter at @coachjong
In episode 15 of Staying MAJOR, former PBA great and current PBA analyst, Ali Peek joins host Eric Menk to talk PBA Playoffs. Ali spent 17 years in the PBA, earning the nickname, "The Man Mountain". Over the course of his career, Ali was a 5x All-Star, a Best Player of the Conference and a member of 6 PBA championship teams. Ali current serves as St. Benilde's big man coach, while also covering PBA games on PBA Rush.
In this episode, Ali talks about his experience so far in coaching. He then goes on to talk a little about his upbringing and his PBA career. Peek shares a particularly special story about the day he was shot in the back of the head and his life since. The last 30 minutes of this episode, host, Eric Menk and Ali discuss the ongoing PBA playoffs and give their predictions on who will come out of the PBA Philippine Cup semifinals. Finally, Ali takes Twitter questions and answers Eric's final question of the podcast. You can follow Ali on the following social media handles:
On this episode, Rafe Bartholomew joins Staying MAJOR to discuss his career and background before diving deep into a review of the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round and a look at the quarterfinal matchups. Rafe is an author and editor. He gained notoriety and acclaim in the Philippines for his book Pacific Rims. His writing has also been featured in the New York Times, Deadspin, Grantland among notable others. Since coming to the Philippines, Rafe has immersed himself in Philippine culture, learning the language and visiting many times. He is currently working on a 12-part documentary for CNN Philippines where he will document basketball at all levels and area of the Philippines.
In episode 14, we take the first 25 minutes to talk about Rafe's background, career and his love affair with the Philippines. The remainder of the show we review the PBA Philippine Cup elimination round. We go over my hits and misses in my preseason blog post and then we make our bold predictions for the quarterfinal round. We end the show by Rafe taking twitter questions from listeners of Staying MAJOR. You can follow Rafe at the following social media handles:
In the 13th episode of Staying MAJOR, Gilas Pilipinas head coach Chot Reyes joins the show. Coach Chot is an 8-time PBA champion coach and a 5-time PBA Coach of the Year. Reyes has also led the Team Pilipinas and Gilas Pilipinas programs in the past, guiding the Philippines to a silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia tournament and leading the Philippines to a victory over Senegal in the 2014 World Cup. Not only has Coach Chot recently been named as the head coach of the Gilas Pilipinas national team program, but he is also the President and CEO of Philippine media conglomerate TV5 and Media5.
In this episode Coach Chot talks about his beginnings as a coach. Reyes goes on to discuss his teams of the past while touching on the current state of the Gilas Pilipinas national basketball program. You can follow Coach Chot Reyes at the following social media handles:
"The Cebuano Hotshot" Dondon Hontiveros graces Staying MAJOR's 12th episode. Born and raised in Cebu, Dondon has gained a reputation in the PBA for being one of the best shooting guards of his generation. His sweet stroke won him the PBA's 2007 3-point Shootout. It also has him ranked 4th all-time in the PBA for 3-point field goals. More than a shooter, Dondon is known for his work ethic, intelligence, and leadership. Now a 12x PBA All-Star, Dondon continues to inspire basketball players young and old as he is still active in the PBA at age 39. Hontiveros has represented the Philippines in international competition on numerous occasions dating back to the 2002 Busan Asian Games all the way up to the 2015 FIBA-Asia tournament.
In this episode, Dondon talks on a variety of subjects, including the Alaska Aces current standing, growing up in Cebu, his move to Manila, his favorite teammates from San Miguel, and the longevity of his career. He then answers Twitter questions, before talking about his future. Dondon currently plays for the Alaska Aces in the PBA, while running a series of basketball camps & clinics. You can follow Dondon at the following social media handles:
Gabe Norwood joins Staying MAJOR for episode 11. Gabe currently plays for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and is a multiple time member of the Philippine National Team. After being selected #1 in the 2008 PBA Draft, Gabe has gone on to become the PBA's Rookie of the Year, a 5x All-Defensive team member, the PBA's Defensive Player of the Year & an 8x PBA All-Star. On Gilas Pilipinas, Gabe has played a valuable role in being the team's top wing defender. He has competed in many international competitions including FIBA Asia and The World Cup of Basketball. In this episode, Norwood talks about his background which led him to professional basketball in the Philippines. He also discusses his career with Rain or Shine. Later in the episode, Gabe takes Twitter questions and talks about his business ventures outside of basketball. You can currently watch Gabe in the PBA as he suits up for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. Links:
Jayjay Helterbrand is one of the best point guards to ever play in the PBA. He, together with backcourt mate, Mark Caguioa formed one of the most feared backcourts in PBA history. Known as The Fast and the Furious, they reigned Barangay Ginebra's backcourt for the last 15 years. Over the course of his career, Jayjay was a 7x PBA All-Star, 2x Best Player of the Conference, PBA Final's MVP, & 2009 PBA MVP. Jayjay also represented Team Pilipinas in international competition in 2005, 2007 & 2009. Still showing he is a great player, Jayjay recently scored 11 points in the 4th quarter of Game 4 of the Governor's Cup Finals, on his 40th birthday to lead Barangay Ginebra to victory, which eventually led to their first championship in 8 years. He currently is playing for Barangay Ginebra, who is competing in the Philippine Cup in the PBA.
In this conversation with host and longtime teammate, Eric Menk, Jayjay reflects on his long career in the PBA for Barangay Ginebra. Helterbrand discusses his early life before coming to the Philippines, his rise to eventually becoming the PBA MVP, and dealing with the struggles of an aging professional athlete. In this 1 hour and 8 minute episode, Jayjay reveals several seldom heard stories and anecdotes about his career. This is a real inside look at the man who has won over the hearts of the Barangay Ginebra faithful. You can follow Jayjay on Instagram: @jayhelterbrand
"The Jet" Jeffrey Cariaso guests on episode 9 of Staying MAJOR. Jeff enjoyed a 15 year PBA career, where he won many accolades, including being named a 10x PBA All-Star, a PBA Finals MVP & PBA Best Player of the Conference. Known for his leadership and tough 2-way play as a player, Jeff quickly transitioned into coaching when his playing career was over. Assisting Tim Cone at the B-Meg/San Mig Coffee franchise, he helped them win 4 PBA titles. From there, he went on to be the head coach at Barangay Ginebra for 2 conferences. Jeff is currently an assistant coach with the Alaska Aces, a franchise he played 8 years of his career for.
Away from the PBA, Jeff is a successful business man. He owns the very successful basketball specialty store/barber shop, Titan (http://www.titan22.com). Titan has 8 stores in metro Manila. You can follow Jeff at the following social media handles:
The "Mighty Mouse" also known as "The Captain" Jimmy Alapag joins Staying MAJOR for episode 8. In this episode, host Eric Menk asks Jimmy about his upbringing in southern California. From a 4'9" 100lb. 9th grader, Jimmy worked relentlessly to gain a college basketball scholarship to play at Cal-State Bernardino. There he led their team to the Elite 8 as a junior and was named All-West Region as a senior. Jimmy then enlightens his fans with an inside look at his PBA career at Talk-N-Text. To close the episode, Jimmy takes Twitter questions from Staying MAJOR's listeners.
Despite his small stature, Jimmy overcame the odds to have had one of the most memorable careers in modern PBA history. After leading the Talk-N-Text franchise to 6 PBA titles (5 All-Filipino titles), being named Rookie of the Year, League MVP, Finals MVP & a member of the PBA's 40 Greatest Players, Jimmy became a national hero with his play while representing the Philippines in international competition. His 3-point shot late in the semi-finals of FIBA-Asia against S. Korea helped book the Philippines a spot in the 2014 World Cup of Basketball. There, he captained the team and poured in 18 points to help the Philippines secure their first win on the global stage in 40 years! Jimmy recently broke the PBA's all-time 3-point record, while playing his last year for the Meralco Bolts. Now retired from playing, Alapag serves as an assistant coach for the Meralco Bolts and the Gilas program, which represents the Philippines in international basketball competitions. Jimmy also serves on the FIBA Players Commission, serving as an ambassador for basketball in Asia. You can follow him on the following social media handles:
Twitter & Instagram: @jalapag3
PBA Rush game analyst & basketball coach Charles Tiu joins Staying MAJOR's 7th episode. Despite being so young, Charles has vast experience in both coaching the game of basketball and analyzing the game on television. Charles began his coaching career assisting Rajko Toroman on the Philippine national team's, Gilas program from 2009-2011. From there, Charles assisted PBA professional teams Powerade and Barako Bull. Most recently, Charles was the head coach for the Mighty Sports team who represented the Philippines, winning the 2016 Jones Cup and finished 2nd in the 2016 Merlion Cup. Charles is currently an assistant coach at St. Benilde who competes in the NCAA. In this episode, Charles discusses his basketball background while also giving his expert analysis on the current PBA. Through his busy coaching schedule, Charles still finds time to serve as a PBA game analyst on PBA Rush. You can follow Charles at the following social media handles:
"The Rocket" JC Intal joins episode 6 of Staying MAJOR. JC currently is playing for the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA. After having a legendary collegiate career for the Ateneo Blue Eagles, JC joined the PBA as the #4 pick in the 2007 PBA Draft. Blessed with great agility, grace, and athletic ability JC has played on the PBA courts for the last 10 years. He had a memorable 3-year stint with Ginebra. He also helped B-Meg win a championship in the 2012 Commissioner's Cup and also represented the Philippines for Gilas Pilipinas at the 2015 FIBA-Asia tournament. Despite setbacks with illnesses and injury, JC is now one of the cornerstones of the Phoenix franchise. An ever evolving athlete, JC reflects on his career while also giving Staying MAJOR's listeners a glimpse of his mindset and work ethic as he tries to lead the Phoenix franchise into contention. In this episode, host Eric Menk and JC discuss the recently concluded UAAP Finals, the current state of his team & tips for aspiring basketball players in the Philippines. His team, the Phoenix Fuel Masters are currently competing in the 2017 Philippine Cup in the PBA. You can follow JC at the following social media handles:
Mark "The Spark" Caguioa joins Staying MAJOR for its 5th episode. Mark is truly a legend in Philippine basketball. He has won every award there is to win in the PBA. His accolades are too many to list in this description. Being a long-time teammate of the host, Eric Menk, they dive down memory lane to discuss the legendary teams of Ginebra's past. They further discuss how Mark has become the player, leader, and person he is today. Fresh off of a championship in the Governor's Cup, Mark explains what went into that championship run and how Ginebra looks to build upon it. He further gives Staying MAJOR's listeners an inside look at their coach, Tim Cone. This episode is a treat for Caguioa fans, Ginebra fans, and PBA fans alike. Mark continues to lead the charge for Ginebra as they have just started their campaign in the Philippine Cup. Mark has been a fan favorite for almost two decades and continues to inspire Filipino ballers around the world. You can follow Mark at the following social media handles:
Former PBA great "The Kid" Kerby Raymundo joins episode 4of Staying MAJOR. In this episode, Kerby talks about his humble beginnings, his PBA career and updates Staying MAJOR's listeners on what he has been up to since leaving the PBA in 2013. Hailing from Bataan, Kerby turned himself into a 10-time PBA All-Star. Despite his career being cut short because of injury, Kerby has found success off of the court in his post-playing career. Running two companies and raising three boys, Kerby still finds the time to mentor young kids from his province of Bataan. Kerby Raymundo is an inspiration to all athlete's, and he expresses an interest in helping current athletes be successful when their athletic careers are over. You can keep up with Kerby at the following social media handles:
Alaska Aces point guard, "The Maestro" Chris Banchero joins episode 3 of Staying MAJOR. In this episode, Chris talks about the events of his life preceding and leading up to his arrival in the Philippines. Despite an ACL injury to his knee that ended his college career, Chris has been able to come back and be a key contributor on one of the best teams in the PBA, the Alaska Aces. Now midway through his professional career, Chris examines what the Aces need to do to finally get over the hump and win a PBA title after four trips to the finals in the last two years. This is a great interview where Chris gives out never before heard information about his background. A must listen for PBA fans, Alaska Aces fans and Chris Banchero fans alike. The Alaska Aces start their season this Friday, November 25th. Chris can be found at the following social media handles:
CNN Sports Desk anchor, Mico Halili joins host "Major Pain" Eric Menk for the second episode of Staying MAJOR. Recorded on November 14th and released on the launch date of Staying MAJOR, November 15th, Eric and Mico discuss the beginnings of Mico's broadcast journalism career. They also examine athlete's entering media, the current state of the PBA, and then take Twitter questions. You can catch Mico on CNN Philippines M-F at 7 & 10pm, where he anchors, Sports Desk.
In Staying MAJOR's very first episode, Staying MAJOR is graced with the presence of the "H-Bomb" Rudy Hatfield. Rudy had a colorful PBA career filled with accolades and charasmatic moments. In this interview, Rudy discusses where life has led him after the Philippines and reveals some of his secrets that he feels were essential to his success as a player. The mood lightens later in the interview where Rudy discusses his favorite professional wrestlers, takes Twitter questions, and even quizzes the host, Eric Menk. This is an "at the table" listen as two close friends joke about the past, present, and future. Here is where you can find more about Rudy and checkout a couple of YouTube video's that have made his legacy live on.
Host, "Major Pain", Eric Menk goes into the details of his life over the last two months that has led him to the launch of his podcast, Staying MAJOR. Whether it be his vlog on Youtube (youtube.com/user/TheEMenk30) or his blog, Locker 30 launching November 7 (medium.com/locker30), Eric is frank with his listeners about him learning a new profession on the fly. Poised to build his media empire from the ground up, Eric is a do-it-yourself host, producer & editor of all of his content. His enthusiasm is contagious as he explains next weeks launch of his podcast, Staying MAJOR.