Category: Ladies Team

Ipswich V Rockets: Match Report

Ipswich 88 | Welham 31 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST | Cazey 25 PTS, 5-9 3P 

Rockets 60 | Espinosa 9 PTS, 4 REB, 4 STL | Luzon 9 PTS, 6 REB

Reading Rockets were defeated 88-60 to a very strong Ipswich team, in our first game since December 2020.

The game started with the Rockets finding some options in behind the Ipswich defence early on, but Ipswich soon found their rhythm and started to run the floor really quickly, leading to many fast-break points. The league’s top scorer, Harriet Welham, was dialled in posting 19 of her 31 points in the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the Coach Luque’s Rockets set up to stop Ipswich scoring in on the fastbreak. The team stopped crashing the offensive board and focused on getting back in transition which kept the Ipswich offence at bay for the second quarter. On the offensive end, Rockets changed to having two players inside the paint to break up the zone defence of our opponents, which led to many open shots for the Rockets to take advantage of, resulting in Reading winning the 2nd quarter 21-18.

It was also very sad to see Coco Ka Yin Leung have to leave the floor after suffering on a knee injury. From everyone at Rockets, we wish Coco a speedy recovery and returns to the basketball court soon.

Rockets failed to start the second half as they finished the first. Ipswich rediscovered their pace in their offence and were fantastic at running up the floor, finding the open woman for the corner 3 to extend their lead.

Given it was the first game in 2021 for both teams, the 4th quarter was played at slightly lower tempo their the previous 3, with both teams just exchanging baskets until the final buzzer.

Despite the loss, Coach Luque was full of positive comments following final buzzer:

“It was a weird but amazing experience being back out on the court for everyone, and I am really happy to be back competing with my team. Ipswich are a very good team and they spent very little time settling into their rhythm and were near impossible to stop once they were in motion. But we are happy, we trust ourselves and growing as a team. We work really hard in training, and we are focused on helping each player on our team to improve.”

It was also great to see our academy star, Heather Maxwell, back on the court following her ACL injury suffered at Ipswich last season. It is fantastic to see Heather back on the court after such a long time out. Congratulations Heather!

Next week, Rockets travel to Southampton to face Team Solent Kestrels. Rockets defeated the Kestrels 64-57 in their meeting earlier in the season at the JMA.

Ipswich V Rockets: Game Preview

Ipswich VS Rockets: Game Preview

The Reading Rockets return to action in the WNBL this weekend facing reigning champions Ipswich Basketball. The game will take place this Saturday (13th February) at 14:00 and it will be livestreamed on Ipswich’s Facebook page.

This will be the Rockets first game in the new year, with their last game being in early December 2020 where they defeated Thames Valley Cavaliers 65-55. The Rockets currently hold a 2-3 record, leaving them 7th in the WNBL.

Coach Luque is cautious of the fact his team hasn’t played in 3 months. He said, “We are coming off a really long break off, so I am hoping that all our players get through the game safely and execute our game-plan.” When asked about on his focus about the game, he stated “If the girls execute what we have been working on throughout training this season – individually and as a team – I will be happy. Ipswich are a fantastic team with many highly talented players, so they will be tough to beat, however if the girls work hard and execute what we have worked on I will be happy”.

Ipswich currently sit 2nd in the WNBL after achieving a 6-1 record over their first 7 games. They have the best points differential this season with +83, highlighting Ipswich’s ability at both ends of the court.

Ones to watch:

Sitota Espinosa in action [image by Luke Simcock]
The Rockets Spanish-youngster Sitota Gines Espinosa will be looking to start 2021 as she finished 2020. She is currently leading the league in steals with 5.0 STPG, as well as obtaining 15.8 PPG, shooting 45.5% from 3-point range, and collecting 6.4 RPG.

One of Ipswich’s key players this season has been the 6’2 Gonzaga Bulldogs-commit Esther Little. Esther leads the league in efficiency (208.0 EFF), rebounds (16.4 RPG) and blocks (3.4 BPG) this season, as well as scoring 14.7 PPG. Her defensive prowess is one of the best in the league and it will certainly be tough for the Rockets to overcome.

At the offensive end of the court, Ipswich also have the league’s top scorer, Harriet Welham, at their disposal. Last year’s MVP, is having another terrific season averaging 25.9 PPG, shooting an impressive 48.9% from the field, as well as grabbing 9.3 RPG and providing 5.6 APG. Her efforts have led her to having an efficiency of 173.0, 3rd best in the league.

(images provided by Luke Simcock)

Reading Rockets Under 18 Girls v Ipswich

Reading Rockets Under 18 Girls 57-60 Ipswich

From tip to buzzer this was an enthralling affair as defending champions Rockets trailed by a single score for most of the game but levelled with 2 minutes remaining and were just 2 points down with 8.1 seconds on the clock and certainly in the ascendancy but one very tough foul call went against Rockets and Ipswich sealed the game from the free throw line.

Anabel Latorre scored Rockets first points before the player of the game, Rockets Sitota Gines opened her account. Jess Ford scored inside and captain Gabi Sanchez led by example by taking an early charge before Gines made a superb steal, went coast to coast and finished giving Rockets a 10-6 early advantage. Gines took a charge but 4 unanswered Ipswich points drew the game level for the first time at 10 each midway through the opening period. A 7-0 Ipswich run caused Rockets Head Coach Antonio Acuna to call a time out from which Latorre scored inside again bringing the score to 16-19 against Rockets as the quarter ended.

A second big Ipswich treble took them out to an 8 point lead at 24-16 but Gines reduced the deficit and Sanchez finished a fine spoon move . Ford hit a jump shot and Gines made a 3 point play to see Rockets adrift by a single point at 25-26. However another crucial Ipswich  treble edged them further ahead. Rockets’ determination shone through again with Sanchez as she raced the length of the court to stop another Ipswich score quickly followed by Carmen Segura Moreno hitting a buzzer beating treble leaving Rockets 28-34 down at the interval.

The third period began with huge intensity from both finalists but neither team scoring before Latorre hit a brace of free throws. Unfortunately Ipswich hit another treble though Gines kept Rockets in touch with a fine drive and score. Rockets upped the tempo a little and showed great tenacity with a couple of key floor hustles, a Latorre block before the outstanding Gines made a steal, went coast to coast to score as Rockets stayed in contention at 38-43 as the final stanza began.

Latorre made a excellent stop and then finished well inside but Ipswich now had a 47-40 advantage with just 6 minutes to go. A Segura Moreno stop and a Ford finish was quickly followed by four Gines points as Rockets got within a single point at 48-49. The atmosphere in the packed Essex University Arena was amazing and though Rockets were knocked back with a buzzer beating Ipswich treble the courageous Rockets girls fought on levelling the game on 52 as Gines and Ford scored with less than 3 minutes remaining. Latorre made a stop but then hit 4 points before Ford made a jump shot to see the score 54-56 with just 48.8 seconds left and Rockets playing brilliantly. However a very tough officials call which many people in the arena thought had gone Rockets way was called against them and Ipswich hit a point from the free throw line to be three up and saw two of Rockets key players fouled out and Ipswich score both free throws.  Mia Thompson tried a huge treble but was fouled so went to the line. She hit all three penalty shots so Rockets were now just 57-59 adrift with 8.1 secs remaining on the clock. Ipswich took a time-out and scored a single point but Rockets’ brave effort was about to be extinguished as the 3 point effort fell short and Ipswich took the cup 60-57.

This was a great advert for the very best of Under 18 Girls basketball as witnessed by the packed arena. Top scorers for Rockets were Sitota Gines with the game’s highest points total of 21 which was complemented with 14 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists and a block whilst Anabel Latorre also had a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as Jess Ford hit 10 points.

To keep up to date with all the latest news and information, follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website –

The Reading Rockets are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Coral Hotels


The Reading Rockets are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Coral Hotels, Tenerife who will be supporting our NBL Division 1 Ladies and Girls development programme in 2019-2020 season. Coral Hotels is a family hotel chain with 30 years of activity and a portfolio of 11 hotels and apartments located in Tenerife and Fuerteventura. The chain does not only offer accommodation, but also and above all, experiences, such as “Coral Families”, “Child free holidays”, “Nature and Adventure” and “Exclusive Experience”.

Coral Hotels and Reading Rockets share common values in the promotion of healthy lifestyles through sport coupled to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Right now 63% of Coral Hotels staff are women with 46% in management roles. It is these synergies which have prompted the Tenerife based hotel group to partner Reading Rockets Ladies. Over many years Rockets has engaged with Spanish basketball with annual trips to the major cities, the recruitment of Spanish coaches and Spanish players. Basketball is huge throughout Spain and currently Rockets’ Ladies has 6 student academy players in the team which plays in the top league of English basketball.

Reading Rockets’ owner Gary Johnson said, ‘We’re extremely grateful for the support of Coral Hotels as it is obvious this will be an exciting association.’ He went on to say, ‘External sponsorship is vital for the longevity and planned growth of our club and we look forward with international business links like Coral Hotels, who are brilliantly aligned in terms of vision, development and success.’

You will see the Coral Hotels logo emblazoned on the home and away Ladies kit as well as their banners at all Rockets home games. Special offers via a promotional code will be promoted on Rockets and Coral Hotels websites so book early to avoid disappointment, whilst promotional material will be given away at games. Please be sure to visit

To keep up to date with all Rockets’ latest news and information, follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website –

Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040

Match Report – NBL & WNBL Quarter Finals



Loughborough Student Riders83Win
Reading Rockets63Loss

Loughborough Riders 83 v 63 Reading Rockets.

In the Playoff Championship quarter final, despite a good and encouraging first half, Rockets couldn’t contain Riders as they stormed the third period 22-10 thanks in principle to outstanding treble shooting. Riders hit five in this quarter and defended stoutly to take a double digit lead into the final stanza, which they edged  to take their place in the semi-final stage next weekend.

In the 2 league games Rockets had the head to head as each team won their home game but at the semi-final stage of the National Trophy in January, Riders lifted their game to win and go on and take the Cup.  Rockets were quick out of the blocks at the University but A J Carr was a little too enthusiastic as he was called for a pair of fouls inside the opening two minutes of early exchanges, meaning Head Coach Alan Keane had to bring him off court .  Captain Danny Carter ( in what was to be his last ever appearance in a Rockets vest ) worked tirelessly inside, took down rebounds and made key assists whilst Sydney Donaldson again proved the heart of the team seeing  Rockets to a 19-14 advantage at the first break.

The  second quarter was a much lower scoring affair as both defences stayed on top though Riders took the lead for just 50 seconds before the interval before Carter saw Rockets go the locker room 31-30 ahead. The third period was a tough one for Rockets as Riders hit five from beyond the arc compared to just one in the whole of the first 2 periods as they took the quarter 22-10. Carter, Donaldson and Trae Pemberton were the only Rockets scorers as Riders stepped up their already good defence. Despite a David Chive rejection with less than two minutes remaining of the third quarter, Riders stroked a brace of trebles, the last one on the buzzer and giving Riders a big boost and an eleven point lead at 52–41.

A Pemberton effort came back out of the ring at the start of the final quarter before Carr hit his only treble of the afternoon to reduce the deficit.  When Carter went inside to score, Rockets found themselves just seven points down inside two minutes. A very tough call with just one second left on the shot clock proved disappointing and costly for Rockets as Riders were secure from the free throw line and hit a pair of trebles to take a fifteen point lead at 64-49 mid way through the quarter. Carter shone throughout the game but especially in the final period as he worked ferociously to take Rockets to the semi-final stage as he poured in ten personal points, drove hard drawing fouls but Rockets just couldn’t find a way of stopping the rampaging Riders. Adrian O’Sullivan hit two trebles to reduce the deficit to just ten points at 63-73 with two minutes remaining but with Rockets needing to stop the clock to regain possession, Riders were frequent visitors to the penalty stripe from which they only missed one whilst Rockets’ treble efforts were unsuccessful as Riders took the quarter final 83-63 with a 10-0 run.

Top scorers for Rockets were Danny Carter with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists with Sydney Donaldson hitting 14 points and taking down 7 rebounds. Adrian O’Sullivan and A J Carr hit 8 points each with Trae Pemberton and Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo scoring 7 each.


Date Time League Season
06/04/2019 14:00 NBL Div 1 2018 / 2019


Loughborough Student Riders63Win

In a most unusual Play-off Championship draw both Rockets Men and Ladies found themselves playing Loughborough away on the same day so they travelled together bringing encouragement to each other with Ladies taking the moral win though Riders went to the semi-final stage with a narrow margin of just five points. From a 3-14 deficit Rockets got within five points midway through the final quarter and into the last 1 minute 17 secs but a very contentious refereeing call saw Rockets top scorer being called for an unsportsmanlike foul and having to leave the court. Despite this impact Rockets Ladies tried fervently to take the victory but just one of three treble efforts hit the target and Riders hit three from the free throw line to move into the semi-final stage. Four of Rockets Ladies had scored double figures compared to just the pair from the Riders  professional WBBL team as Rockets fought tirelessly giving a great performance.Riders had made three blocks inside the opening three minutes as Rockets just couldn’t break through the tough defence , finding themselves on the receiving end of a 12-2 Riders run. Rockets captain Maike Delow Fasbender stopped the rot and Noa Sanchez Marques made a pair of steals and finishes before Monica Herranz De Antonio  was secure from the penalty stipe as Rockets returned the 12-2 compliment and the scores levelled on 14 apiece. Five unanswered Riders points saw them enjoy a narrow 19-14 advantage at the end of the period.

Andrea Gomez De La Vara stroked the first of her three trebles and Herranz hit one too to stay close to Riders at 20-26. Sanchez Marques caused Riders into a five second inbound violation as Rockets ramped up the pressure but nothing seemed to be going Rockets way as they found themselves 26-37 down at the interval. Head Coach David Sanchez was expecting a fresh upturn in pressure from Riders and quickly Rockets found themselves 42-28 and then 48-32 in arrears as Riders struck a brace of trebles, one on the buzzer. Nonetheless this Rockets Ladies team wears the badge with pride and great team work and ethics shone through as they recovered to 43-48 moments before the last break though Riders went into the last period 50-43 ahead.

Rockets scored off their first possession to close the gap and then made a pair of stops but Riders stroked a treble. Sanchez Marques scored and Herranz De Antonio made a big rejection as the travelling Rockets fans bellowed their encouragement. Another Gomez De La Vara treble saw Rockets just two scores behind at 53-59 with two minutes remaining and Rockets in the ascendancy and causing this smart Riders team many problems they hadn’t envisaged after their early dominance. Then the decision that fuelled up Rockets through losing their stalwart player as Rockets did their upmost to take the win though losing out narrowly 58-63.

Top scorers for Rockets were Monica Herranz with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals accompanied by Andrea Gomez with 13 points, Noa Sanchez with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals and Anabel Latorre Ciria with a double double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.


Date Time League Season
06/04/2019 16:30 WNBL Div 1 2018 / 2019