15 January 2016

Blame Is Not All On Al-Hussaini

Meralco Bolts' frontcourt may have considerably become much younger, but this does not mean that the team can now match up quiet well with their opponents. In fact, the Bolts were so listless and impatient with their plays that they ended their season-opening Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup campaign in a dismal note.

Despite adding several key personnel like Brian Faundo, Kelly Nabong, Rabeh Al-Hussaini and picking blue-chip rookies Chris Newsome and Baser Amer as well as plucking veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag out of retirement, the Bolts finished dead last in the All-Filipino conference with their woeful 1-10 record.

Meralco closed out its campaign with a 97-87 loss to Rain or Shine, which beat the Bolts by more than 19 rebounds in the paint.

Much of the losses were blame on the unexpected departure of Sean Anthony via a trade and the underperforming Al-Hussaini. The former may have been true, but numbers will reveal that the latter is unfounded. In fact, the returning 6-foot-7 center from Ateneo has improve his lot after a year of sabbatical leave.

Except for his rookie numbers, Al-Hussaini has doubled his scoring contribution to 9.36 per outing in the 2015-2016 All-Filipino Cup, which is a big improvements from his 5.04 points, 6.81 points and 5.04 points per game from 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively.

He may look like ineffective, but Al-Hussaini is doing what he does best given the limited time he is getting. What is needed is more contribution from those that see limited minutes with Al-Hussaini's return.

Maybe after one full season, fans can have a basis to say that Meralco erred in hiring Al-Hussaini.

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