Orlando Mendez led the way for hosts Mexico on the opening day of the tournament ©Getty Images

Hosts and defending champions Mexico got off to a winning start on the opening day of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Men's Americas Championship thanks to a 84-66 win over Dominican Republic.

Orlando Mendez led the way for the home side with 24 points at the Palacio de los Deportes in the capital Mexico City.

The victory means the Mexicans are the early leaders of Group A, which also saw a 71-57 victory for Uruguay over Brazil.

Brazil's Vieira Marquinhos led the points scorers with 21 but his efforts were in vain as Uruguay came out on top in each of the final three quarters for victory.

In Group B, Venezuela are the early leaders after a 73-52 success over Cuba, while Argentina also started in winning fashion by seeing off Puerto Rico 91-86.

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Puerto Rico's basketball forward Angel Bassallo, left, takes the ball past Argentina's power forward Luis Scola ©Getty Images

As well as continental glory, qualification places for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are up for grabs at the tournament.

The two sides to reach the final will book their place, unless Brazil are one of them which will lead to the third placed side earning a berth at Rio.

The opening round features two groups of five with the top four in each advancing to the second round group.

From there, the top four teams will progress to the semi-finals.

Tomorrow's games in Group A see Uruguay tackle Panama and Brazil face Dominican Republic, while Group B clashes pair Canada with Argentina and Puerto Rico with Cuba.