Gilas Youth loses AJ Edu for rest of FIBA U19 World Cup

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 30, 2019 01:40 PM
Gilas Youth loses AJ Edu for rest of FIBA U19 World Cup
Kai Sotto will have to carry a heavier burden for Gilas Youth as AJ Edu will no longer see action in the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup (FILE PHOTO)

Gilas Youth will no longer have twin towers for the 2019 FIBA Under-19 World Cup as the initial diagnosis on AJ Edu’s knee injury is not looking good.

According to team officials, the 6-foot-10, 19-year-old suffered an ACL tear and a meniscus tear to his right knee as well as a hairline fracture to the femur bone in his right leg.

Edu incurred the injury at the 7:57 mark of the opening salvo of the Filipinos' tournament opener opposite Greece, early Sunday morning (Philippine time).

Team officials say that further tests will be done on the Filipino-Nigerian, but what is already certain is he will no longer be seeing action in the world meet.

In the face of the development, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas assured the talented tower that the federation has his back. "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," president Al Panlilio said in a statement.

He then continued, "The (national team) is a journey together and we will be with you. Walang iwanan."

Nonetheless, that means that the Philippines, once armed with the tallest national youth team in its history, will have a tougher time against world no. 9 Argentina and no. 19 Russia even as it tries to rally around the injury to Edu.

That also means that a heavier burden will now fall upon the shoulders of 7-foot-2, 17-year-old Kai Sotto while, in Edu's place, Carl Tamayo and Geo Chiu would have to step up.

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.

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