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Panlilio says SBP will still support Edu despite suspected ACL injury

AJ Edu is suspected to have suffered an ACL injury. FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANDALUYONG--Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas president Al Panlilio vowed that the local basketball governing body will be with AJ Edu as he recovers from a nasty knee injury he got early into Gilas Pilipinas Youth's FIBA U19 World Cup game against Greece early Sunday (Philippine Time) in Heraklion.

"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.

The actual text message, as what Panlilio relayed, read, "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."

Initial findings said that Edu tore his anterior cruciate and meniscus ligaments as well as a hairline fracture in his right femur, although the official diagnosis won't come until Monday.

"It’s tough because he’s our defensive anchor," Gilas Youth coach Sandy Arespacochaga said in an interview with FIBA. "Right now we’re just hoping that he’s okay. Hopefully the MRI is okay. Right now we’re just praying for good results."

Recovery period for an ACL tear usually lasts for six to nine months, which may mean Edu, once the injury has been confirmed, will sit out the upcoming US NCAA season as well for Toledo University.

"We will help him with whatever he needs," concluded Panlilio.

Edu turned out to be a huge loss for Gilas Youth as the team bowed to Greece, 69-85, despite a scintillating start.

[Related Story: Gilas Youth falls to Greece at start of FIBA U19 WC]

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno