Ramos wants Al-Hussaini to prioritize practice in lieu of AWOL issue

Rabeh Al-Hussaini has been AWOL for weeks now. PBA Media Group (file photo)

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--If Coach Bong Ramos is to be asked, he would prefer Rabeh Al-Hussaini to keep his focus on Blackwater's buildup for the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association season in spite of his personal problems.

"Kung ako, I would still fix yung problema ko, [pero] uunahin ko muna yung practice ko," the Elite's chief tactician said.

Al-Hussaini has suddenly gone absent without leave for weeks already, adding more dent to the already depleted frontline rotation of the Ever Bilena franchise highlighted by Poy Erram's departure to NLEX.

[Related Story: Tamsi added into mix in approved Erram trade for Desiderio, Tratter]

"Ang huling usap ko kay Rabeh is last December. He came to practice. Meron lang siyang sinabi sa amin, but this is a personal problem. I cannot say what it is," Ramos described how his last meeting with Al-Hussaini went.

Ramos then reiterated, "As a player, kailangan ihiwalay natin ang trabaho natin sa problema kahit gaano ka-personal iyan."

The Elite gave Al-Hussaini a team suspension for his action, although they made it known that they are not opting for a buyout of the remainder of his contract.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno