Real Madrid started the Euroamerican Cup, organized by Direct TV, in style on Thursday night with an 83-103 victory over Cangrejeros de Santurce at Roberto Clemente Coliseum in San Juan, Puerto Rico. K.C. Rivers scored 19 points in as many minutes and Sergio Llull amassed 17 points and 5 assists to lead the winners. Thursday’s contest marked the start of a busy period of international basketball for Turkish Airlines Euroleague sides with six teams scheduled to play games in nine countries on four continents. Madrid’s victory was the first of four games Euroleague teams will play in the Americas as part of the competition. Madrid will complete its tour on Sunday in Bogota, Colombia, against Guerreros. Fellow Spanish club Laboral Kutxa Vitoria faces Aguada on Friday in Montevideo, Uruguay, and plays Peñarol in Mar de Plata, Argentina, on Sunday.
Despite an early lead for the hosts, Madrid quickly gained control, led 18-24 after 10 minutes and went ahead by double figures in the second quarter. It was 35-43 at halftime and 57-71 through three quarters. Los Blancos put on a show with 32 fourth-quarter points to wrap up the win. Ioannis Bourousis added 14 points, while Rudy Fernandez and Salah Mejri each scored 12 in a balanced Madrid attack. Madrid, the 2014 Euroleague runner-up, use its size to its advantage by scoring 46 points in the paint to 24 for Cangrejeros and finishing with 18 second-chance points, while the home team had just 2. Alex Galindo led Cangrejeros with 21 points and Javier Mojica scored 12. Center Daniel Santiago, a veteran of six Euroleague seasons with four teams, scored 11 and guard Christian Dalmau, who played two Euroleague seasons for Prokom Trefl Sopot of Poland, dished 7 assists.