AJ Edu is back home following an impressive rookie season for University of Toledo in the US NCAA.
The Filipino-Nigerian has returned to join forces with fellow towering teen Kai Sotto for Gilas Youth in the oncoming 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup from June 29 to July 7 in Greece.
And of course, Edu is only looking forward to sharing the court once more with Sotto as well as other returnees Gerry Abadiano, Rhayyan Amsali, Geo Chiu, Bismarck Lina, and Carl Tamayo. "It felt really good. I feel like I'm starting to build that chemistry with them again," he told reporters after one of their training sessions at the Meralco Gym in Ortigas.
He then continued, "It's not much of a problem, actually, because we also played together last year. Majority of the team is also from last year so the chemistry is still there and we just have to build on it."
This time, though, the 6-foot-10 big man hopes to unleash his full arsenal in the world meet. "I've always been solid defensively, but I want to show people what I can do offensively," he shared.
In his first year for Toledo in the Mid-Atlantic Conference, Edu averaged 3.6 points on top of 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks.
Now, he wants nothing more than to show his continued development. "This year is a big year for me, not only in U19, but also Toledo in terms of my offense. I wanna show all the people the hard work I've been putting in," he said.
And thus far, Gilas Youth head coach Sandy Arespacochaga is only loving what he has been seeing from the 19-year-old. "AJ is very good and so far, a pleasure to coach, a pleasure to teach because he's a great player. For him to get 1.7 blocks in (US NCAA) Division 1, you're good," he said.
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