LiAngelo, LaMelo Ball prepare for pro debuts in Lithuania

Lithuanian Basketball club Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas head coach Virginijus Seskus, left, talks to his player LaMelo Ball during a training session at the BC Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas arena in Prienai, Lithuania, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball have signed a one-year contract to play for Lithuanian professional basketball club Prienai – Birstonas Vytautas, in the southern Lithuania town of Prienai, some 110 km (68 miles) from the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.(AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

UCLA is free from the grasp of the Ball Family, but the famous basketball clan is only just starting its international takeover.

Former UCLA guard LiAngelo Ball and his younger brother LaMelo Ball, a one-time UCLA commit, are slated to make their pro debuts on Monday for Lithuanian team Prienai-Birstonas Vytautas.

“For them it’s not going to be easy,” said Dainius Adomaitis, the Lithuanian national coach who coached four years in the LKL. “The first thing is it’s completely different basketball. It’s not high school basketball; it’s not NCAA basketball.”

More from John Henderson, special to the Southern California News Group, on the Balls making their pro debuts 

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UCLA crushes Cal for first road win of year

Cal scored the first two points against UCLA on Saturday. That brief seven-second lead was the only lead the Bruins allowed all evening.

UCLA blew out Cal 107-84 in Haas Pavilion for the Bruins’ first road win of the season behind a hot shooting night from beyond the arc.

The Bruins made 17-of-30 3-point attempts, including 9-of-11 in the second half.

Junior guard Aaron Holiday led six double-digit scorers with 21 points and five assists. Senior center Thomas Welsh had a double-double by halftime when UCLA (12-4, 3-2 Pac-12) had a commanding 21-point lead and finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Freshman guard Jaylen Hands had 11 points, eight assists and just one turnover.

Cal (7-9, 1-2 Pac-12) outrebounded the Bruins 40-35, including 21 offensive rebounds, but couldn’t overcome a terrible shooting night in which the Bears shot 25.6 percent from the field in the first half.

Four consecutive 3-pointers in a 12-3 Cal run midway through the second half cut the deficit to 11 with 10:53 to go, but the Bruins responded by scoring 12 of the next 16 points to stave off any chances for another blown lead on the road.

After getting a split in the road in the Bay Area, the Bruins return home to host Utah on Thursday at 8 p.m.

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