Gilas star AJ Edu goes pro after signing with Toyama Grouses in Japan

AJ Edu will take his talents in Japan after earning a contract with the Toyama Grouses (FIBA photo via

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Gilas Pilipinas young gun AJ Edu is ready for his professional hoops debut after signing with the Toyama Grouses for the upcoming season of the Japan B. League.

The Grouses warmly welcomed Edu last June 20, 2023, and is expected to bring the much-needed paint presence the team badly needed after only finishing the season with a disappointing 15-45 win-loss record.

Edu agreed to a deal with Toyama days after being named in the 21-man Gilas Pilipinas men’s national basketball team pool that will see action in the FIBA World Cup this August.

He became the latest Filipino to play as an Asian import in Japan and will be joining his Gilas seniors Kiefer and Thirdy Ravena, Dwight Ramos, and Bobby Ray Parks Jr.

The six-foot-ten versatile big man was once a promising recruit out of the University of Toledo and was expected to electrify the US’ NCAA crowd after his brief Under-18 stint with Gilas.

Despite a roller coaster ride during the past few years due to multiple injuries in his knee, Edu still didn’t give up and redeemed himself when his doctors finally gave him the clearance to return to playing.

Edu took the PHL basketball scene by storm when he teamed up with Kai Sotto during several U-18 international basketball tournaments.

The big man showed his tremendous two-way game in all of his Gilas stints and quickly earned the respect of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP).

It is still yet to be known if Edu will be flying straight to Japan or reinforce the national team in a pair of international friendly matches in Europe this week.