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Gani Stevens’ reps explain decision to move out of UST

When Gani Stevens committed to University of Santo Tomas, he envisioned that he will be a key cog in the revival of the school’s men’s basketball program while taking up a degree in Physical Therapy.

However, there are times when the best plans do not necessarily come to fruition and the 6-foot-7 big man is now with University of the East after representing UST in a few pre-season matches.

Speculation is rife as to why the Minneapolis North High School alumnus moved schools this early in his collegiate career but two people close to him want to set the record straight.

“We have maintained connections with all of the schools we visited last April,” said Mary Ann Prado, who is Stevens’ mother. “Hindi nawawala ang respeto namin sa basketball community and we can say that the basketball community and coaching staff of all schools we met are respectful and understood our boundaries.

“No one offered anything bigger or less. The decision to move forward from UST to UE was decided with Gani in mind and utmost respect to all parties involved.”

Stevens would have been a welcome addition for the Growling Tigers’ lineup in Season 85 as they noticeably lacked ceiling back in Season 84.

The likes of Sherwin Concepcion, Nic Cabanero, and Kean Baclaan tried to hold the fort back then but teams that had foreign student-athletes and top-class locals who pounded the Espana school in the paint.

There were 11th-hour talks to try to salvage the situation but Stevens staying was just not meant to be.FOEO-MBB-UST-Gani-Stevens-1-scaled Gani Stevens' reps explain decision to move out of UST Basketball News UAAP UE UST  - philippine sports news

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“A meeting was set up to amicably rectify the situation. Ultimately, Gani felt comfortable with the UE coaching staff and situation over there,” said Joshua Presbitero, who is Gani’s coach in the US.

“The differences in the plans for Gani communicated to us versus the present conditions were tough to overlook. Given those circumstances, it was then we came to the decision of having Gani explore other options.”

Now that Stevens is in UE, he is looking forward to settling down and being part of the Red Warriors’ rebuild. Coach Jack Santiago’s side seeks to arrest a winless record come Season 85 and another big man in their ranks will go a long way.

While Stevens’ time at UST was brief, the school, his coaches, and his former teammates left a good impression on him.2022-Filoil-Ecooil-Preseason-Cup-JRU-vs-UST-Jinino-Manansala-scaled Gani Stevens' reps explain decision to move out of UST Basketball News UAAP UE UST  - philippine sports news

“It was a tough decision to make but we are moving forward,” said Prado. “We have nothing but gratitude to coach Jino (Manansala) and the coaching staff of UST during the transition process.

“Gani has developed life-long friendships with the UST basketball team and that is something to be thankful for.”

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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