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Panlilio assures help to injured Edu

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MANILA — Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said the organization will support AJ Edu’s road to recovery from a suspected anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Just two minutes into Gilas Pilipinas Youth’s FIBA U19 World Cup game against host country Greece in Heraklion early Sunday (Philippine Time), Edu hurt his knee while going for a layup and never returned to the game.

Although Gilas Youth remained resilient later in the first quarter, even taking a 22-12 lead, Edu’s absence was eventually felt by the team as Greece slowly took control of the game and walked away with an 85-69 win.

“I sent him a message that the SBP committed to help him get through this ordeal and we are behind him all the way,” Panlilio said in a statement.

He even bared what he texted to Edu, saying, “As I said to you, this national team is a journey together. We will be with you. Walang iwanan (no one is left behind). Just focus on recovery now.”

It is also suspected that the 6-foot-10 big man also tore his meniscus and had a fracture in his femur. Recovery period for an ACL tear usually lasts for six to nine months.

With the said time frame, it is likely that Edu will sit out the upcoming US NCAA season as well for Toledo University.

“We will help him with whatever he needs,” Panlilio said.