Entering the PBA as the second overall pick in the 2010 annual draft, Rabeh Al-Hussaini was touted as one of the next dominant big men in Philippine professional hoops. After all, the 6’7″ slotman did stand tall over the competition during his amateur days, winning the MVP plum in Season 70 of the UAAP as well as being named the Finals MVP a year after while anchoring the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles to a pair of UAAP basketball titles in 2008 and 2009.
However, after a stellar freshman campaign with the Air21 Express in which he was named to the PBA’s All-Rookie team and subsequently as the league’s Rookie of the Year for the 2010-11 season after averaging 14 ppg and 6.9 rpg, Al-Hussaini discovered his groove in the pro ranks, as he found himself being shipped from one team to another in the course of the next three seasons.
After averaging double-figures in scoring during his first year in the PBA, the Filipino-Kuwaiti pivot could only churn out 5.9 markers a night while suiting up for Petron, Globalport and Meralco from 2011 until the first two conferences of the 2013-14 PBA season.
Prior to the start of last season’s Governors Cup, Al-Hussaini was granted permission by the Meralco management to leave the Philippines and work on his Kuwaiti citizenship papers and pension, according to an article published on Spin.ph.
Eventually, Al-Hussaini went AWOL and never returned to the country and the PBA. Last month, he was found out to have reached an agreement with Al Qadsia, a team in the Kuwaiti Division 1 Basketball League.
Mentored by former Bosnia national team head coach Mensur Bajramovic, Al Qadsia is currently at second place in Stage Two of the 11-team field with a 7-3 win-loss slate.
Al-Hussaini is listed as one of the team’s top players along with Abdullah Al Sarraf, Albrahim Saleh and Abdulaziz AlHamidi.
Photo c/o Nuki Sabio (PBA Images)