Using a quadsphere with the tennis ball unwrap will do three things:
1) This eliminates the North/South poles and the triangles that go with them.
2) It creates easily to pack UV’s.
3) Because all of the polygons are 4 sided, this is a great mesh for subdividing and sculpting.
There are several quadspere scripts out there for 3dsmax but in case you’re the manual type:
- Create a box.
- Tennis ball unwrap it.
- Apply the TurboSmooth modifier.
- Apply the Sphereify modifier.