LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball were held scoreless in their Lithuanian league debut Saturday, as Prienu Vytautas fell 95-86 to BC Lietkabelis.
According to Sportando, the Ball brothers combined to miss all seven of their shot attempts in almost 15 minutes of play:
LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball combined for 0 POINTS in their pro debut in Lithuanian top division @betsafeLKL 🇱🇹 in @bcvytautas loss to @BCLietkabelis 95-86. @LiAngeloBall: 0 points FG: 0/3 3PT: 0/2 9:28 minutes @MELOD1P: 0 points FG: 0/4 3PT: 0/3 5:16 minutes
The drop in production was sharp for LiAngelo and LaMelo in comparison to their debuts, against the Zalgiris reserve team as part of the Big Baller Brand Challenge on Tuesday.
They combined for 29 points in that game, but Lietkabelis represented a significant step up in competition, as it finished as runner-up in Lithuania’s top professional league, the LKL, last season.
As Vytautas looked to keep pace with one of the LKL’s premier teams, head coach Virginijus Seskus opted to primarily use his more experienced players rather than Gelo and Melo.
Lithuanian basketball journalist Donatas Urbonas noted Seskus had a teaching moment with LaMelo during the first half:
Donatas Urbonas @Urbodo
LaMelo had two nice moments in defense, interrupting the pass to the low post and almost forcing opponent a turnover. However, he missed three shots in his first 3 minutes of debut game in Lithuanian Basketball League. Coach Seskus asked Melo to calm down
With Vytautas trailing by 13 points at the break, the Ball brothers didn’t play much in the second half as the team attempted to stage a comeback.
Perhaps the most notable moment involving a member of the Ball family came at halftime, when LaVar Ball was invited onto the court.
The Big Baller Brand founder and patriarch of the Ball family took a couple of near-half-court shots but missed on both attempts, as seen in the following video:
Donatas Urbonas @Urbodo
LaVar Ball was invited to try a half court shot during Melo and Gelo debut game in LKL. LaVar missed three shots but enjoyed it, just like the crowd! https://t.co/Gl5uZPGXZ4
Misfiring was par for the course for the Balls on Saturday as well as Vytautas as a whole.
Lietkabelis shot a scorching 59 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free-throw line, while Vytautas made just 45 percent of its attempts from the field and 67 percent from the charity stripe.
After LaVar criticized Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton for Walton’s handling of Lonzo Ball, Fred J. Robledo of the Southern California Newspaper Group quipped that Seskus may soon feel LaVar’s wrath too:
Fred J. Robledo @SGVNSports
LaMelo Ball played 5 minutes and LiAngelo 9 minutes in second pro game and combined for 0 points. You think Luke got criticized, just wait …. https://t.co/RiWjcxCsoH
Saturday’s loss dropped Vytautas to 4-15, and it is last in the LKL. Lietkabelis improved to 13-6 and is in fourth place.
LiAngelo and LaMelo will have a chance to get on track against some lesser competition Monday when they face the Lietuvos Rytas reserves in a Big Baller Brand Challenge game.