December 02, 2023

AJ Edu continues to impress as Gilas big man shows out in first game in Japan B.League

AJ Edu continues to impress as Gilas big man shows out in first game in Japan B.League
Toyama Grouses

Due to his professional obligations in the B.League in Japan, AJ Edu won’t be suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas as the national team flies to Hangzhou, China for the Asian Games.

Tough luck for Gilas and its fans—because just like he did in the FIBA World Cup, Edu continues to impress in the Land of the Rising Sun.

In his first game in the pro ranks, Edu’s Toyama Grouses took on the Niigata Albirex BB in a preseason matchup on Monday. Fans of Toyama were quick to see the gem that they have in their Asian import.

Off a broken play, Edu found an open teammate for a three, but when the shot missed, the 6-foot-10 big man hunted the ball to give himself an open lane and a dunk. Enough to make Niigata call timeout.

See it unfold:

In the second quarter, the Cypriot-born cager showed what he does best. Defense. If he can give Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns a hard time, he can definitely do the same in Japan.

Check out this block in the open court:

While AJ may be scratching his head for not converting after that blocked shot, he made up for it a few plays later by showing another aspect of his game: 3-point shooting. He was left wide open in the corner, and of course, he swished it.

As if defending the paint is not impressive enough, here’s Edu picking up his man from beyond the arc, staying in front after the drive, and then completing the stop with another block.

But wait, there’s more.

Toyama immediately goes into a fastbreak, and look who’s there to run up the court and seal his defender: AJ Edu. A nice quick inside pass and the 23-year-old delivers two points.

These are just four of the highlight plays of the former University of Toledo Rocket, and they’re all enough to make a basketball purists salivate.

The Grouses win, 71-69. Toyama should brace for more of those wins with Edu in the fold.