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Stories about Partizan - POP 18

by Ivan Toskov on September 18, 2020

POP 18 - "The First Stranger"

By winning the title of champion of Yugoslavia, Partizan gained the honor of being in the 1976/1977 season. performs in the strongest European club competition, the Champions Cup. Returning from Barcelona, ​​coach Ranko Žeravica wanted the central line to be even stronger with the Kićanović-Dalipagić tandem, so he hired the first foreigner in the history of KK Partizan, the 208-centimeter-tall American Bach Taylor.

A former student at Jacksonville University, where he averaged 16.6 points and 12.1 rebounds, he was selected with the 55th pick in the 1974 draft by Philadelphia, but did not make his major league debut. He arrived at Partizan after a short stay in Trieste, Italy, and was supposed to play only in the Champions Cup, since the rules of our Association did not allow foreigners to play in domestic competitions.

The popular "Baća", as the fans immediately called him, joined the team just a few days before the duel of the first round of the group competition against Zbrojovka and had only one training session with the team. Partizan was defeated by the Czechoslovak champion in the Hall of Sports, and when in the second game they also suffered a defeat against Akademik in Sofia, it was clear that the planned "hit" duels with the strongest European teams, Injis, CSKA and Real, that season would remain just wishful thinking. . Butch Taylor scored 13 points in his only two games in black and white, but his tenure was destined to end in inglorious fashion.

Coach Ranko Žeravica then explained that it was planned for Taylor to make his real contribution only in the final phase of the Champions Cup. "Taylor, whose playing qualities are undisputed, should have played and got used to the team by the start of the final group." We calculated that even without his significant help, we would pass the qualifications, in which we were mistaken," explained Žeravica at the time.


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