MANILA, Philippines — Match-again AJ Edu discovered achievement in finishing his first Fiba World Cup as a senior nationwide staff member after going by a number of knee accidents.
The 6-foot-10 Gilas large man shone in his first World Cup stint, posting 8.2 factors, 8.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.2 blocks in 5 video games, which the nationwide squad capped with a morale-boosting 96-75 win over China on Saturday at Sensible Araneta Coliseum.
Regardless of solely profitable one out of their 5 video games, it was a full-circle second for Edu to finish his nationwide staff stint, 5 years after struggling an ACL harm within the Fiba Underneath-19 World Cup.
“Man, it’s been an extended journey for certain, with the accidents. However you understand, it’s cool how issues type of come full circle — I received injured at a World Cup, and you understand, I’m out right here capable of compete at a World Cup on the highest stage,” Edu advised reporters after dropping 5 factors and plucking 10 rebounds in opposition to the Chinese language.
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“I’m very grateful for you understand all the pieces, grateful to the Lord, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for his faithfulness,” he added.
The Filipino-Cypriot made fairly an impression together with his defensive prowess in opposition to Karl-Anthony Cities, who praised him regardless of their opening loss.
Edu additionally unleashed his finest displaying in opposition to South Sudan with 12 factors and 14 rebounds.
The 23-year-old Gilas younger gun might be oozing with confidence heading to his first Japan B.League stint with the Toyama Grouses. However he vowed to proceed representing the nation sooner or later.
“Heading to Japan to begin my skilled profession within the B. League with Toyama, actually trying ahead to that,” he stated. “I’m additionally trying ahead to many extra stints with Gilas now that I’m in Asia.”
Edu was simply thrilled to finish the World Cup with a win, crediting Jordan Clarkson’s 34-point explosion and relishing the expertise of sharing the courtroom with the NBA star.
“It feels nice. That is my first win for Gilas and yeah, doing it at dwelling, in entrance of that crowd, that is what we needed to offer them this entire match. Sadly, you understand, it didn’t come to that however we received the win ultimately. I’m very very grateful. Hopefully, the primary of many for me,” Edu stated.
“That’s why he’s an NBA Sixth Man, that’s who he’s. , I received entrance row seats — finest seats in the home to witness the present to that incredible feat, he’s a tremendous participant and I’ll at all times keep in mind the truth that I shared the courtroom with him,” he added.