The Puerto Rico senior men’s national basketball team got a leg up on Group A with an 83-67 win over Canada in Caracas, Venezuela, on Aug. 31. Puerto Rico (2-0) leads FIBA Americas Championship Group A Division with four points, Canada fell to 1-1 and has three points.
Leading 59-58, Puerto Rico broke the game open with a 18-2 run over the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to take a 77-60 lead. Puerto Rico outscored Canada 24-9 in the final stanza.
International veterans (and former NBA players) Carlos Arroyo and Renaldo Balkman led the way for Puerto Rico. Arroyo led his team with 20 points on 7-of-17 from the field. Balkman contributed 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Orlando Magic Andrew Nicholson and Cleveland Cavalier Tristan Thompson were the dominant players for Canada. Nicholson scored a game-high 21 points to go along with 7 rebounds before fouling out of the game midway through the fourth. Thompson finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds.
Puerto Rico shot 44 percent(26-of-59) from the floor and made 10 triples while Canada shot 35 percent from the field (23-of-66) , including just 21 percent from beyond the arc (3-of-14). Canada outrebounded Puerto Rico 42-32.
Canada will next play Brazil (0-1) at 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sept.1 while Puerto Rico will tangle with Uruguay (1-0) later in the day (7:30 p,m).
Puerto Rico went 4-0 to win the Marchand Cup, which is a precursor to the FIBA Americas Championship, earlier this summer. It was Puerto Rico’s first championship in the four-year event as Brazil had taken the previous three events. Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Canada also participated.
Dominican Republic 91, Argentina 72
The Dominican Republic (1-0) outscored Argentina (1-1) 31-10 in the third quarter and went onto a dominating 91-72 victory on Aug. 31. The Dominican Republic (34-of-62) shot a scolding hot 55 percent from the field and 61 percent (11-of-18) from the three-point line. The victors also held a 41-27 edge in rebounding.
James Feldeine led the Dominican Republic with 21points, on 7-of-10 shooting including 4-of-7 from the three-point line, and three assists. Juan Coronado (18 points) and Jack Martinez (12) joined Feldeine in double-figures. Martinez also grabbed 13 rebounds and Elroy Vargas contributed eight points and 10 caroms.
Indiana Pacer Luis Scola led Argentina with 13 points but struggled from the field, shooting only 4-of-16 from the field. Nicolás Laprovittola had 13 points, Juan Gutierrez contributed 12 points and Selem Safar finished with 10.
Argentina leads Group B with three points and will play Venezuela (0-1) on Sept. 2, while the Dominican Republic will battle with Mexico (1-0) on Sept. 1.
Uruguay 68, Jamaica 66
Former NBA’er Estaban Batista scored the game-winning basket on a put-back to give Uruguay (1-0) a 68-66 victory over Jamaica (0-2) on Aug. 31.
With the score tied at 66-66, Batista grabbed a missed shot from Leandro Garcia and put it in the hoop to give Uruguay a 68-66 lead with nine seconds remaining. Jamaica had a chance to win the game but Durand Scott missed a three-pointer with two seconds to go.
Batista finished with a game-high 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds with seven coming on the offensive end. Garcia contributed 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting and connected on 4-of-7 three-point attempts. Garcia also had four assists.
Samardo Samuels led Jamaica with 19 points. Akeem Scott contributed 18 points Weyinmi Rose had 15.
Other scores: Venezuela 75, Paraguay 70.