Things went very poorly for all of the Balls in their 2nd game in Lithuania

In their first game in Lithuania, the “Big Baller Showcase” in which their team, Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas, took on the equivalent of the Lithuanian G-League against mostly teenage competition, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball looked like what they are — two above-average American basketball players thrown in against competition weaker than what they faced in AAU ball back in the States.

Their second game was a different story.

This time it was a full-fledged LKL match on the road against fourth-place Lietkabelis, which came into the game at 12-6 compared with 4-13 for Prienai-Birstonas.

The home squad in Panevezys, which boasts an American of its own in former Rice University standout and Latvian and Slovak League champion Lorenzo Williams, won the ballgame 95-86.

The Ball brothers totaled zero points.

Together, they missed seven shots, including all five of their 3-pointers, as LiAngelo was 0-for-3 and LaMelo 0-for-4 in the loss.

And, as if that weren’t bad enough, their father LaVar, decided to insert himself into the festivities, attempting half-court shots during a halftime show that ought to make Shaqtin’ A Fool on TNT’s “Inside The NBA”:

LaVar badly missed a couple of shots, and in between the Lithuanian PA announcer said in heavily accented English, “One more time, LaWar!”

One can only imagine what the fans in Lithuania — a nation with a proud basketball tradition that produced the likes of Arvydas Sabonis and his son Domantas along with Sarunas Marciulionis and Jonas Valanciunas for the NBA — must think of these upstart Americans barging into their country like they’re crashing a house party.

Turns out that 29 points the brothers combined for in that showcase game didn’t amount to a hill of beetroot and bean salad in a game that counted.

Prienai-Birstonas continues to struggle, at risk of being relegated to the National League, Lithuania’s second tier of basketball, in a soccer-style system that’s the rough equivalent of if the NBA sent the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks to the G-League and brought up the Westchester Knicks and Wisconsin Herd for the 2018-19 season.

For the Ball brothers, getting zero points for a last-place team is having exactly the opposite effect that their father hoped for when he pulled LiAngelo out of UCLA and LaMelo out of high school for this overseas adventure.

Lavar expects his sons to showcase their talent in Europe as a steppingstone to the NBA, the way that Ricky Rubio and Boban Marjanovic did.

But the Ball brothers are no Ricky Rubio and Boban Marjanovic.

When Rubio drew the eyes of NBA scouts and ended up the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA draft, it was in Spain’s ACB (Spanish for “Association of Basketball Clubs”), quite possibly second only to the NBA itself on the list of the world’s best competitions, and Rubio was an impact player first at Joventut Badalona and then at FC Barcelona, the latter the rough equivalent to Spain’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

And for Marjanovic, before he was a lovable fan favorite in San Antonio and Detroit, he was an All-Euroleague first team selection when he was with KK Crvena Zvezda (Serbian: “Red Star Basketball Club”), a Serbian squad with a basketball legacy to rival the Celtics or Lakers stateside with 18 national championships in Serbia and the former Yugoslavia.

LiAngelo and LaMelo get their next game in the second contest of the “Big Baller Showcase,” this time against Lietuvos Rytas’ second-team developmental squad. This is like saying they’re going to play the Pacers and getting the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

LaVar Ball hoped that playing in Europe would get his boys some exposure.

Instead, it just looks like the Balls are getting exposed.

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