With Myk Saguiguit elevated to head coach of University of Perpetual Help System DALTA Altas, he also left his post as the chief tactician of the Junior Altas.
Saguiguit and the Anthony Tamayo-owned university looked to its roots for a replacement, tapping former Altas player Joph Cleopas as head coach of their juniors’ basketball team.
“Malaking honor siyempre na kunin ka ng alma mater mo,” expressed Cleopas, 34.
“Ang unang goal ko is to instill discipline sa team and then make it to the Final Four. Baby steps.”
Though young, Cleopas, a native of Cebu City, already has a wealth of experience under his belt.
After playing for Perpetual back in Season 81 of the Grand Old League, Cleopas — just 19 years young — moved back to Cebu to study and coach University of Southern Philippines Foundation’s high school basketball team.
He was tapped by Jamike Jarin’s San Beda to be part of his staff back in Season 92. He would be with the Red Lions until 2018.
In 2019, he moved from Mendiola to España to be part of Aldin Ayo’s staff at University of Santo Tomas.
Cleopas is also the strength and conditioning coach of Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas 3×3’s revamped staff.
The youthful tactician looks to steer the Junior Altas to the Final Four — a feat they have not achieved in since Season 86.
Last season, Perpetual finished with a 7-11 record.
It is still unknown when the NCAA Juniors Basketball tournament, or high school sports for that matter, will resume.