LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball needed a reset after combining for eight points in Prienu Vytautas’ 91-76 loss to Lietkabelis in Lithuanian (LKL) League play on Saturday. Come Monday, LaVar Ball’s boys got just that, multiplying their scoring output by more than 10 times in total, with the Big Baller Brand CEO standing in as coach, to top the London Lions at the Copper Box Arena, 127-110, in the Big Baller’s London Clash.
Melo needed just three quarters to tally a triple-double. He finished with 39 points, despite whiffing on a fastbreak dunk in the first half and blowing a layup in transition after the break. The 16-year-old had his fair share of airballs from outside, too, but generally did well to score in a variety of ways—from deep threes and floaters to soft finishes and timely putbacks. The 16-year-old also drove and dished his way to 16 assists while collecting 16 rebounds.
Gelo, who declared for the 2018 NBA draft last week, struggled to get shots to drop from the low post and blew a transition dunk of his own, but managed to pile up a team-high 44 points nonetheless. He found better luck from long range, snuck inside for some cleanup points and fed off LaMelo in transition.
Though the Ball brothers did their work against grown men this time—after demolishing the Guangdong Southern Tigers’ youth squad last Tuesday—the Lions were bound to run out of gas, as they did in the second half. While Vytautas was playing its second game in three days, London’s British Basketball League team faced its fourth in five nights.
At present, Vytautas doesn’t have any more Big Baller Brand-sponsored exhibitions on its schedule. The club’s next game is set for Sunday at 7 a.m. PT against LKL powerhouse Lietuvos Rytas at Siemens Arena in Vilnius. Vytautas, with five losses in a row and a dismal 5-23 record, will once again be desperate for a win and a way out of last place in the league.
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The Ball Brothers and BC Vytautas overcame London Lions 127-110 in the Big Baller Brand London Clash in front of 5,000 fans on Monday afternoon at the Copper Box Arena.
The exhibition saw little defence played from either side, as the teenage Ball brothers took full advantage; sixteen year old LaMelo had 39 points, 16 rebounds, 16 assists and 6 steals, whilst LiAngelo had 44 points, as they dominated the ball for Vytautas – who were coached by their father LaVar. Vytautas are 5-23 on the regular season in the Lithuanian LKL, sitting in bottom place of the table (10th), whilst the Lions are 17-9 in third place in the BBL.
Jordan Spencer, in his first game as a professional since graduating from Augustana College, was impressive as he finished with 32 points and 8 assists to lead the Lions, going off for 25 points in the second quarter alone, lighting it up from beyond the arc. Cory Dixon had 25 points and 20 rebounds, and Justin Robinson had 9 points in five minutes before exiting early with an injury.
A digital phenomenon with their own Facebook show which boasts over 1.4million followers, the Ball family have embraced social media, capitalising on the the presence of Lonzo Ball on the Lakers to grow the Big Baller Brand, along with the outspoken LaVar Ball and future NBA prospect LaMelo Ball. The Big Baller Brand showed its pull in London, almost filling the Copper Box with a predominantly younger audience; one not normally seen at BBL games. Numerous pieces of BBB merchandise were visible in the stands during the game, as the pop up store near the entrance of the arena was swamped.
LiAngelo has recently declared for the 2018 NBA draft but is an outside shot of being selected. LiAngelo and LaMelo made the unprecedented move of turning pro in Lithuania this season; ‘Gelo’ dropped out of UCLA, whilst ‘Melo’ opted for the European pro route instead of High School and College as is standard for the majority of top US prospects. The move to BC Vytautas also includes a partnership to help grow the Big Baller Brand. Whilst the brothers have seen more limited minutes in Lithuania’s top flight, the club has been taking part in Big Baller Brand exhibitions where the Balls can star.
The two teams combined to shoot 104 three-pointers, whilst the Ball brothers had the green light, combining for 77 field goal attempts between them.
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The article titled, Ball Brothers Overcome Spencer Outburst in Big Baller Brand London Clash, first appeared here
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The London Lions are pleased to announce an International game against Lithuanian LKL side BC Vytautas Prienu on Easter Monday – 2nd April at 4.00pm.
US born brothers Lamelo and LiAngelo currently play for the Lithuanian side and people say they are destined for the NBA like their brother Lonzo Ball who plays for the LA Lakers.
The Big Baller Brand visited the Lions Trophy Semi Final at the Copper Box Arena in February and LaVar Ball, head of the family, couldn’t help but be impressed at the charm London has to offer. The basketball family’s reality TV show, “Ball in the Family”, is one of the number one shows on Facebook, and exposure for this game will be high in the US.
Where the Big Baller Brand goes, long lines of fans are sure to follow. That was as true for their last London visit where their pop-up shop in London bought thousands of fans out to pick up some of the acclaimed Big Baller merchandise. LaVar Ball had this to say “Let’s have a Ball”!
The Lions have lots of surprises up their sleeve for the game and with exciting half time entertainment added into the mix the event will be a real showstopper in this year’s London Lions Calendar.
A spokesperson for BC Vytautas added
“Our team is very excited about coming to London, we will be throwing all our power behind this game”.
Unlike in the UK where football is the top dog in sport, in Lithuania everything is about basketball. It has been said that Basketball is like a religion in the country and Lithuanians are renowned for being dedicated, fanatic and passionate basketball fans. Lions Chief Executive Vince Macaulay said “With London having the largest Lithuanian population outside Lithuania, we have always wanted to play a Lithuanian team and engage with their huge fan base. We know Lithuania is proud to boast an exciting and dynamic basketball culture which I feel this country needs to adopt for us to take the sport to the next level”.
When asked about the Ball brothers, Vince Macaulay said
“The two of them have real talent and the Lithuanian side as a whole is strong so I know they will be a force to be reckoned with. I have some surprises to spring though and the Capital’s team is going to give them a good run for their money – the fans are in for a treat!”
Tickets go on sale at 1pm on Monday 12th March at ticketmaster.co.uk and fans are urged to book early and be part of an Easter Sell out game.