RABEH Al-Hussaini reminded everybody Friday night of the kind of player that he is.
The 28-year-old big man teamed up with Reynel Hugnatan and Cliff Hodge to anchor Meralco’s interior defense that resulted in a 98-87 win over TNT Katropa in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The one-time UAAP MVP from Ateneo contributed 14 points, two rebounds, and two blocks while playing for 28 minutes in the Bolts’ second win in three outings.
The numbers – and the effort – obviously stood out that coach Norman Black was quick to commend his former player with the Blue Eagles for having ‘probably his best game for a long time.’
“He was very stable tonight as far as his performance. He wasn’t in a hurry, and took what the defense gave him. Defensively, he was pretty good tonight,” said Black of the 6-foot-7 center.
Al-Hussaini deflected the credit, stressing he was just doing what Black is expecting of him especially against a tough Tropang Texters side.
“Expect niya rin talaga sa akin na mag step-up,” said Al Hussaini, who won two UAAP championships with Black at Ateneo.
Although adjustments had to be made after Black tweaked a little bit of his coaching system, the familiarity with the way he handles his players somehow made it easy for Rabeh to adopt.
“Sinabi niya lang sa akin na huwag akong magmadali. Just wait for my open spot,” Al-Hussaini said.
The six-year veteran hopes to maintain his pace and play consistent as the Bolts play the Alaska Aces next this Wednesday.