MERALCO’S enigmatic center Rabeh Al-Hussaini is set for a second PBA reunion with his college coach Norman Black as he promised to return from Kuwait to join the Bolts' buildup in the offseason.
Al-Hussaini, the 6-foot-7 former Ateneo star and top PBA draft pick, has yet to return, more than two months since he left for a supposed 10-day trip to work on his citizenship papers and pension in Kuwait.
However, new Meralco team manager Paolo Trillo said he has been in touch with Al-Hussaini recently and said the 25-year-old big man has promised to join Meralco’s offseason buildup under new coach Black.
“I was in touch with him recently, and he signified his intention that he wants to come back and join us,” Trillo said of Al-Hussaini, who averaged 5.0 points and 4.9 rebounds in 23 games for the Bolts last season.
Trillo has since joined him at the Bolts camp.
Black and Al-Hussaini first linked up in the pro ranks with Talk 'N Text in January 2013, when he was acquired from GlobalPort in exchange for the rights to now Ginebra wingman Japeth Aguilar.
The reunion, however, lasted all of seven months as Al-Hussaini soon became part of the complex eight-player, three-team trade that saw the former UAAP MVP move to Meralco under Ryan Gregorio.
But before any reunion can take place, Trillo admitted they will have to sort out the situation of Al-Hussaini, who has basically gone AWOL for almost two months now.
Former Meralco team manager Butch Antonio had earlier told Spin.ph that the big man was facing sanctions from the team for missing out on the final stretch of the Governors Cup.
Trillo said they will have to sort that out.
“Definitely, it’s (possible sanction) something the coaching staff and management will have to talk about, but there’s different sides to the story so we need to get the facts straight to see whether we will sanction him or not,” said Trillo.