Alytus, Lithuania – A brawl that took place on Monday during the game between Alytus Dzukija and Junior Basketball Association (JBA) USA prevented both teams from displaying their best basketball, and showcasing a sporting event of the highest quality for the spectators.
The incident that took place in the middle of the third quarter, had LaMelo Ball at the center of it. At that point, JBA USA had the game well under control with a 15 point lead. However, after Melo’s ejection, Lithuanian Division 1 team managed to stage a comeback, and take the win 124:114.
“I am disappointed with what took place on court, because I want to always do the right thing. I reacted in the heat of the moment, and let my team down. I’m not perfect and accept responsibility for my actions”, – acknowledged LaMelo Ball. “Alytus is a great team, and I have no problem with any of those players. I apologize to anyone I offended. I learned my lesson on how to stay focused, as your opponent trys to take you out of the game”.
LaVar Ball – founder of the JBA – was displeased with the incident from both sides. “We have to understand that in every game of this JBA World Tour we are guests, and we must respect our hosts. I am not going to analyze this situation. The bottom line is players must keep their cool, control emotions, and fight by playing competitive basketball on the court. I want to thank Alytus team and entire organization for a great game, and excellent hospitality.”
Alytus basketball coach and former Olympic bronze medalist Tomas Pacesas did not put too much emphasis on the incident. “Emotional situation, emotional game, and young players did not have proper self-control. There is no excuse for such behavior, obviously, but we as hosts, also, lacked some culture. I mean, guests must be welcomed with proper respect. I am glad we had an opportunity to play a game against JBA USA, and our young players had a chance to measure up against these talents from USA. I have no doubt that spectators enjoyed the game and the atmosphere. I don’t think we should talk about that unfortunate moment anymore.”
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