Ball Bros. combine for 29 in overseas pro debut

From ESPN - January 9, 2018

PRIENAI, Lithuania -- In a packed gym of about 1,500 people in the tiny Lithuanian town of Prienai, the Ball brothers -- LiAngelo and LaMelo -- combined to score 29 points in their professional basketball debut.

With parents LaVar and Tina Ball sitting courtside, 19-year-old LiAngelo scored 19 points, and his younger brother, LaMelo, finished with 10 and had several no-look assists to lead Prienai Vytautas to a 90-80 victory over Zalgiris' second team.

"I did all right," LiAngelo said. "I am glad we won, but I could do better."

Vytautas, a low-budget team that withdrew from the Baltic league days after the brothers joined the team, announced it would form the Big Baller Brand Challenge, a series of five "friendly" games. Vytautas normally plays in both the Lithuanian and Baltic leagues, with the Baltic featuring lower-level competition that also involves teams from Estonia and Latvia.

Zalgiris' second-division team featured the top under-18 players from the elite program in Lithuania. While LiAngelo acknowledged that he "was not expecting [the game] to be so physical," LaMelo said he did not think there was a big difference from American basketball.

"Not a lot," LaMelo said. "Just another game to me."

Tuesday night's game was broadcast live on Facebook and had more than 120,000 viewers at times.


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