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The Wakayama Trians gave Zeljko Pavlicevic a guaranteed two-year contract when he was hired in 2013 to lead the team, formerly based in Osaka, as it made the transition from the Japan Basketball League to its successor, the National Basketball League.

The Croatian bench boss then guided the Trians to a 41-13 record, a Western Conference regular-season crown and a championship runnerup finish. They exceeded everyone’s expectations.

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