The FIBA Americas Championship opened in Venezuela with a four-game slate. Though the United States isn't participating -- it qualified for the 2014 FIBA Basketballby winning the 2012 London Olympics gold medal -- plenty of NBA names are littered across the rosters. Gustavo Ayon (Mexico), Renaldo Balkman (Puerto Rico) and Tristan Thompson (Canada) are a few.
Argentina 95, Paraguay 60 -- Argentina used a 10-point, seven-rebound performance from 21-year-old center Marcos Delia and other strong frontcourt contributions to push around Paraguay in a 95-60 victory Friday in both teams' first game of group play.
Twenty-two-year-old point guard Facundo Campazzo added 13 points, and it was a good start for a team once veteran-laden and now moving into a younger era. One of the few remaining elders of the club, Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola, scored nine points in just 10 minutes of play in the blowout.
Backup center Juan Gutierrez scored 11 points and grabbed five rebounds in just 11 minutes, and the Argentinians held a 44-29 rebounding edge by the end of the FIBA opener. They also shot 53 percent while holding struggling Paraguay to 27.9 percent accuracy from the floor.
Canada 85, Jamaica 64 -- Guard Cory Joseph flirted with a triple-double in Canada's FIBA Americas opener, a 85-64 victory against Jamaica. The San Antonio Spurs reserve scored 17 points, recorded 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds while playing in all but three minutes of the win.
Baylor guard Brady Heslip scored 17, and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson played his first official game as a member of the right-handed club. Thompson scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and got help in the frontcourt from Orlando Magic big man Andrew Nicholson, who contributed seven points and four rebounds. Miami Heat center Joel Anthony added six points.
For the Jamaican team that shot just 34.4 percent from the floor, the Canadian front line was too much. Canada outrebounded the Jamaicans 42-30.
Power forward Adrian Uter led Jamaica with 14 points and six rebounds.
Puerto Rico 72, Brazil 65 -- Renaldo Balkman scored a game-high 24 points for Puerto Rico in its FIBA Americas opener. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, which helped Puerto Rico overcome the three-point deficit it was in at the start of the final quarter. The Crimestopper pulled down eight boards and blocked four shots.
John Holland and J.J. Barea added 15 and 12 points for Puerto Rico. They combined for 16 of the team's 34 rebounds.
Neither team shot well. Puerto Rico hit on 41.4 percent of shots, but Brazil struggled to get 35.9 percent of its shots to fall. Marcelo Huertas led Brazil with 16 points on 7-of-15 shooting and dished the ball out for five assists.
Mexico 65, Venezuela 56 -- Mexico's Gustavo Ayon dominated both ends of this game, scoring 22 points, grabbing 18 rebounds and blocking four shots in the victory. Jorge Gutierrez had 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting -- the most efficient performance on a team that shot 32.8 percent.
Venezuela shot slightly better at 33.9 percent, but it lacked a big-time scorer. Small forward Donta Smith and center Luis Bethelmy led the team with 10 points each. Bethelmy missed out on a double-double with only nine rebounds.