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    Big blow for Batang Gilas as knee injury forces AJ Edu out of U19 World Cup

    Jun 30, 2019
    AJ Edu
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    AJ Edu will miss the remainder of the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup as the Fil-Nigerian center is feared to have suffered a torn ACL and meniscus on his right knee.

    Gilas Pilipinas Youth physical therapist George Yorobe, relayed through Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Special Assistant to the President Ryan Gregorio, shared the unfortunate news on the Cyprus-born slotman.

    "AJ Edu suffered an anterior cruciate ligament and meniscal tear on his right knee with hairline fracture on his right femur bone, based on the MRI images read by the radiologist. The official results will be released on Monday once the hospital's orthopedic doctor read and reviewed the MRI Images of AJ Edu's knee. We also requested the orthopedic doctor here at Fiba to check on AJ tomorrow," the injury report read.

    Edu was going on a drive when he hurt his right knee and was subbed out of the game at the 7:57 mark of the first quarter. He did not return.

    Gilas Pilipinas Youth fell to hosts Greece, 85-69, in its opener in the World Cup early Sunday morning (Manila time).

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    SBP president Al Panlilio assured that the association will be with Edu every step of the way as he starts his road to recovery.

    "We are saddened by the injury of AJ Edu," he said. "I sent him a message that the SBP is committed to help him get through the ordeal and we are behind him all the way. We will help him with whatever he needs."

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    He continued: "As I said to you, this is a journey together. We will be with you. Walang iwanan. Just focus on recovery now."

    Edu's absence will be a big blow for the Philippines' chances in the global youth hoops showpiece, especially with the team being touted as the country's tallest national youth team ever.

    Kai Sotto will have to do double-duty in the frontline, with coach Sandy Arespacochaga also counting on Carl Tamayo and Geo Chiu to do their share in the paint.

    Gilas Youth will meet Argentina on Monday (Manila time) at 1 a.m.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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