AJ Edu eager to show worth in Gilas pool for Fiba World Cup
MANILA, Philippines—AJ Edu, the Cypriot-born Filipino center, confirmed his inclusion in the Gilas Pilipinas pool with a few months left before the Fiba World Cup.
Edu revealed the development during Saturday’s episode of Noli Eala’s “Power and Play.”
However, being included in the training pool does not guarantee a spot in the final lineup. Regardless, Edu said he will continue to show his value in hopes of representing the country on the global stage.
“It [not making the lineup] won’t sit in a negative way at all. For me as long as I’ve given my best, and shown what I’m capable of and be part of the process, I won’t have negative feelings towards it,” said Edu, who plays for University of Toledo in Ohio.
“I’m gonna give my best, if that’s enough to make the final 12, then so be it, if not then so be it as well.”
The 6-foot-10 Edu made his national team debut in the 2018 Fiba Under-18 Asian Championship where he averaged 14.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks to help the Philippines earn a spot in the 2019 Fiba Under-19 World Cup.
Injuries, however, have hampered Edu’s career. He suffered a torn ACL and torn meniscus in his right knee just a few minutes into his U-19 World Cup campaign. The following year in December 2020, Edu tore the same meniscus before tearing his left ACL in practice in July 2021.
Despite a series of major injuries, Edu is confident he can still be of big help to Gilas due to his versatility and athleticism.
“I bring versatility in terms of athleticism. Being able to move pretty well for my height. The defensive, blocking shots, rebound. I’m also versatile offensively, I’m trying to showcase that more,” Edu said.
“I’m confident in my ability. I haven’t been able to showcase that completely well. If I go into the training camp with the mentality of really showing up, I think I’ll make the final cut,” he added.
Gilas, which is grouped with Dominican Republic, Italy and Angola, will resume its training camp on Wednesday.