University of Toledo sophomore AJ Edu will play for the Philippines for a second straight summer in the 2019 Fédération Internationale de Basketball (FIBA) Under-19 Basketball World Cup in Greece from Saturday, June 29, through Sunday, July 7.
Edu helped the Philippines qualify for this event last year with a fourth-place finish in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asia Championships in Thailand.“I don’t think there is a greater honor in athletics than representing your country in international competition,” Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “He’s awfully excited to play in an unbelievable tournament against some really good players.”
Edu earned a spot on the Mid-American Conference’s All-Freshman Team last season after pacing the league with 1.9 blocks per game in league play and ranking second in overall games with 1.7 blocks per game. Edu appeared in all 33 games and was a key producer off the bench with 3.6 points per game and 3.9 rebounds per game in 14.3 minutes per game. He ranked third on UT’s season blocked shot list with 57 and swatted away four or more shots on five occasions, including a season-high six vs. Western Michigan.
“Playing last year in Thailand really helped AJ in his freshman year, and the competition he will be facing in Greece is going to be even better,” Kowalczyk said. “I think anytime you have a chance to be in a training camp for two or three weeks it is really beneficial. The skill level of the games is going to be really high, and watching him play in these games intrigues me because that’s how we play.”
Edu played six games during the competition in Thailand, averaging 14.2 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocked shots. He shot 47.7 percent from the field (31 of 65) and 46.2 percent from three-point range (6 of 13). Edu finished second in the tournament in rebounding and blocked shots, as well as third in three-point shooting.
Sixteen teams will compete for the U19 World title; they have been divided into four groups for preliminary, round-robin games. The Philippines were drawn into Group C and will open preliminary play against Greece Saturday, June 29, then face Argentina Sunday, June 30, and Russia Tuesday, July 2.
Following the preliminary round, all teams will advance to the Round of 16 Wednesday, July 3. The winners of the Round of 16 will advance to the medal quarterfinals Friday, July 5, and the losers will play out for ninth-16th places. The semifinals will be played Saturday, July 6, and the gold and bronze medal games Sunday, July 7.
All games will be available on the FIBA YouTube page.