Category: Club Announcements

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets100Win
Bradford Dragons60Loss

With both teams suffering recent heavy defeats and tumbling down the table at a time when both are seeking Play-off Championship places,  they knew that one of them would be encouraged and strive for that elusive place and hopefully home advantage in this most competitive of leagues where 4 games finished within 2 points of each other the night before.

The ever improving American A J Carr hit a treble, had a tip in and stroked one free throw in the opening minutes though Dragons stirred up some fire to level on 8 points each. Rockets had worked all week on their defence as identified as ‘ not up to standard ‘ by Head Coach Alan Keane after recent losses. , and how that showed as they pressurised Dragons from tip to buzzer. 16 yo David Chive hit a treble, took an assist from Sydney Donaldson to make another 3 point play before Tanner Kuehn hit a step back treble to see Rockets lead 21-15 at the first break.

Chive was quickly out of the traps as he made a steal, went coast to coast and scored with the opening offensive of period two before he sent an assist to Kuehn to score and give Rockets a double digit lead at 25-15, something they were to extend significantly as they cruised the quarter 33-13 having a 54-28 lead at the interval. Both Carr and  Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo hit wide trebles and Kuehn sent an exquisite bounce pass to his captain Danny Carter to score with a slam dunk. When Donaldson went off the glass Rockets enjoyed a twenty point advantage and then Chive hit another treble this time from the top of the key.

Dragons had been stirred during the interval as Ricky Fetske stroked three consecutive trebles though Donaldson, Chive and Carr replied for Rockets but Dragons took the quarter 25-19 reducing Rockets lead to 73-53 despite a big Carr rejection and a Carter spin fake score.

The fourth quarter saw Rockets imperious from beyond the arc as they stroked five trebles in a 27-7 final push as they secured a key 100-60 victory. Nine of Rockets players scored in this period with the biggest appreciation coming as the academy youngsters all scored  with 16 yo  James Jolly hitting the 100 point score on the buzzer as he finished a fine Rockets move. Adrian O’Sullivan had had ten minutes court time in his first game for 5 weeks hitting a brace of trebles in this period whilst Trae Pemberton  delved deep to hit a pair of downtown trebles too. And Adrian Nosa sank a big treble moments before Academy youngster David Obediah scored to loud applause from the appreciative supporters.

Though A J Carr yet again top scored for Rockets with 28 pts.,and 8 rebounds, it was the 16 yo David Chive who had his best game of the season to date as he scored 18 pts., took down 4 rebounds, made 5 steals and had 4 assists to complete an excellent performance. Sydney Donaldson hit 11 pts.,made 4 assists and 3 steals whilst Trae Pemberton hit 10 pts.

Rockets stay in 7th place in the table but have 2 games in hand over the 4th and 5th placed teams so everything to play for in the final 7 weeks of the league season.

Details

Date Time League Season
17/02/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Preview: Rockets looking to bounce back from Trophy semi-final defeat

Reading Rockets (9-5) will be looking to make amends for their National Trophy exit at the hands of Loughborough Riders last weekend when they face Leicester Warriors (5-11) at home on Saturday. The Rockets were soundly beaten in their semi-final game as the reigning National Cup champions secured their place in their second final of the season defeating the Reading outfit 66-91 at the John Madejski Academy.

Rockets secured an away win at Leicester (96-82) late last year and will be hoping for a full house at Rivermead this Saturday afternoon. Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was disappointed to see his team comfortably defeated but knows his team must bounce back and be ready for a physical contest this weekend. He said: “This weekend we welcome a talented Leicester side to Reading who have shown good form of late and have a deep, talented roster, so we are expecting a tough test. We envisage a physical game, especially on the boards and in the paint, an area we have shown strength in however this could be negated by the Leicester side, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top as we look to bounce back. We will continue to try and play our style of game and impose ourselves especially at the defensive end which will in turn fuel our offence.”

Rockets head into this weekend with a couple of injury concerns. Point guard Adrian O’Sullivan has been sidelined over the last three weeks with an ankle sprain and looks set to remain out of action until next week at the earliest. Under 18 Sam Grant who has been in a rich vein of form of late joins O’Sullivan on the treatment table after injuring his ankle in an Under 18 game last weekend and looks set for a spell on the sidelines. Better news for captain Danny Carter as he made it through last weekend’s defeat to Loughborough without any further back complications with Ronan O’Sullivan now fully fit and available for selection for the Berkshire club.

New signing Tanner Kuehn will make his NBL Division One debut after featuring in last weekend’s National Trophy semi-final. The 22 year old most recently played in NCAA Division Two for Purdue Northwest and joins the Reading team before the transfer deadline on January 31st.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

Match Report – Sick and depleted Rockets bow out in semi-final

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets66Loss
Loughborough Student Riders91Win

Not being able to play at Rivermead was a huge disappointment to the players and management of Rockets so the John Madejski Academy sports hall hosted this crucial semi- final. With captain Danny Carter getting out of a sick bed to shirt up, Ronan O’Sullivan still out with a long term hand injury,  Adrian O’Sullivan needing at least another week before returning to training with an ankle injury and then Sam Grant wearing a surgical boot from an injury picked up yesterday, Head Coach Alan Keane knew he’d be heavily dependent on his two Americans, one other senior, new signing Tanner Kuehn ( who arrived at Rockets Thursday evening ) and the Academy young men. As courageous as Rockets were, even leading by 7 points early in the second period, a barrage of four trebles and a stronger in depth team saw Riders lead by 7 at the interval, a lead they were never going to relinquish for the remainder of the game.

The opening quarter with Rockets 18-13 became 35-42 by the break with the game having been tied 3 times and with both teams being restricted by the other to scoring runs that didn’t exceed 7 whilst Rockets biggest lead was 7 pts., and Riders just 8 pts., such was the competition to secure a place in the National Trophy final . Riders were coming off victory in the National Cup Final last Sunday when they beat the league’s top side Solent Kestrels by 19 pts  so were oozing with confidence despite being on the wrong end of a league loss at Rockets hands just 5 weeks ago in Reading.

The third quarter was the defining period for Riders as they extended their advantage to 13 pts at 63=50 with 3 more trebles and only Trae Pemberton and A J Carr scoring for Rockets. The final stanza opened with A J just not having the rub of the ring, Riders scoring and Carter being called for his fourth foul. Within 3 minutes of the restart both Rockets big men A J Carr and Danny Carter were excluded as having received 5 personal fouls each and now the game was probably truly against Rockets . Nonetheless Pemberton continued to encourage the Academy guys and Sydney Donaldson hit 4 from 4 from the free throw line. Tanner Kuehn had hit a treble as his first Rockets points and hit a jumper but three consecutive trebles from Riders saw them a safe distance ahead as Rockets depleted team just couldn’t reduce the deficit and the game ended 91-66 in Riders favour.

Both Rockets Americans had again been outstanding as A J Carr hit 23 pts., 7 rebounds and 4 assists and Trae Pemberton 15 pts., 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Rockets other leading scorers were Danny Carter with 7 pts as did Sydney Donaldson.

Rockets now prepare for a return to Rivermead next Saturday

Details

Date Time League Season
27/01/2019 17:30 National Trophy 2018 / 2019

Venue

John Madejski Academy
112-118 Hartland Rd, Reading, Reading RG2, UK

National Cup Finals weekend – Match Reports

Rockets Junior Ladies 65 v 60 Charnwood College Riders.

Rockets launched themselves with great propulsion into the opening 2 quarters of this first ever National Cup Final for Rockets Juniors Ladies as they stormed Riders 23-9 and 23-18 in the initial two quarters giving Rockets a comfortable 19 point advantage at the interval 46-27.

Carmen Moreno was finishing clinically with an average of over 83% conversion rate while Paula Tarrega was dominant on the boards for Rockets. With Noa Sanchez Marques also over 83% shooting percentage and making assists, it was now crucial for the U 18’s to not get complacent as they knew Charnwood would come out fighting…..and how they did !!

Rockets were restricted to just 11 points in the third period as Riders hit 15 and the game took on a different perspective. Now Rockets’ clinical finishing fell away as Riders defended with grit and determination as they fought to not lose 3 consecutive finals. Would the 57-42 advantage at the end of the third period be enough Riders began another charge ?

Each team wanted to lift the cup in front of their passionate supporters. It was a mighty strong fight back by Riders in the final quarter as they restricted Rockets to just 8 points whilst scoring 18 themselves but Rockets prevailed with scores at key times and solid defence in the end game as they took the victory and held the cup high through their 65-60 win.

This was very much a team effort though the top scorers for Rockets were Anabel Latorre Ciria as she raised her game in the second half to finish as the game’s MVP with 17 points and 12 rebounds whilst Carmen Segura Moreno also hit 17 points,  took down 4 rebounds and had a brace of assists and steals . Noa Sanchez Marques hit 16 pts., had 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

Head Coach Blai Benlloch was thrilled with the Rockets Junior Ladies win as he recognises it’s the result of a dedicated academy investment programme at the John Madejski Academy .

Anabel Latorre Ciria – MVP

 

Rockets 71-73 Haringey Hawks

A pulsating game referred to by the commentators as one that will be regarded as the best ever U18 Junior Men Cup Final in the sports history ended with heart breaking final second defeat for Rockets as the final 3 point shot to lift the trophy, rimmed out and they found themselves forlorn on the court having truly given their all.

This is the way Head Coach Fisher encouraged them throughout, ‘Don’t leave anything on the court, do your utmost and be proud.’   And for sure he and his team did just that in front of the biggest and loudest supporters the day had experienced. The majority of these young men have another year at this level and will be striving to succeed in next year’s competition.
Rockets edged the opening quarter 17-16 but found themselves 33-39 adrift at the interval as Hawks lifted their finishing and stifled Rockets. The 15 minute break was a key time for Coach Fisher and his message was clearly received by his stalwarts as they took the third quarter 26-20 to leave the game delicately poised at 59 each as the final period began.

Hawks opened with a score but Rockets edged ahead thanks to a Sam Grant treble. Hawks had a 6-0 run midway through the quarter but Rockets cut that to three with just two and a half minutes left…. a huge time in Basketball. Three Rockets shots rimmed back and Hawks led by five with Just 28.9 seconds remaining . Rockets drove on seeking the cup triumph and with 16.9secs left scored to get within  three of Hawks. One from two from  the free throw line extended Hawks lead but another big Rockets treble with 7.7 secs on the clock meant Rockets were tied . Another opportunity from the free throw line edged Hawks ahead  by two. Again Rockets took off and the outstanding Grant launched a buzzer beating treble effort but it came back off the ring to leave an exhausted Rockets Juniors team bereft on the court. They had been in a fantastic final and Coach Fisher was proud of their magnificent effort in getting a National Cup Final and just falling a millimetres short of victory.

For Rockets Sam Grant finished with 24 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists , Ross Stepney with 17 points and 16 rebounds and David Chive 10 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists .

An absolutely great Saturday for Rockets Junior Men and Women and a great future ahead for some truly talented players.

David Chive scoring for Rockets

 

Sam Grant – Rockets’ Top Scorer

 

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
READING ROCKETS54Loss
Loughborough Student Riders81Win

In what was clearly going to be a tough final for Rockets Ladies as 7 of the Rockets team of 12 are not only Academy players ( under 18yo ) but had also played less than 24 hours before as they took the Junior Women title. So could they put the inevitable physical tiredness and the emotion of winning the day before, behind them.

Head Coach David Sanchez was well aware of that but was expectant as his team had fought many tough battles to reach this final and they were well prepared. However the sight of one of England’s brightest basketball hopes for many years being released from her primary professional league seniors ( Leicester Riders ) , on court, increased the level of difficulty against an already talented side. In reality Holly Winterburn for Riders and Monica Herranz for Rockets were the two outstanding stars of either team and fought for the MVP too.

Riders shot off to an initial 7-0 run before Rockets drew level on nine each midway through the opening period before Riders finished that quarter with a 12-0 blitz. Rockets had missed seven open shots and Winterburn had scored 13 of Riders 21-9 lead.  A stunned Rockets team used the 2 minute break but Riders charged to another 7-0 opening start to quarter two to enjoy a 28-9 advantage. Herranz hit 14 before the break including 2 from 3 trebles to help Rockets stay in contention though 25-41 in arrears.

The third period saw Rockets further adrift at 42-64 but these young players have a never say die attitude that was much appreciated by the packed stands and though going down to a better team on the day, gave a spirited display of what’s to come in the future for the whole female development programme. At Rockets.

With Herranz being rested in the final few minutes the final score was 54- 81 . Herranz had finished with 20 pts.,13 rebounds and 3 assists whilst 16 yo Carmen Moreno had 8 pts and 17 yo Noa Sanchez-Marques 7 pts, 3 assists and 3 steals.

Rockets still have much league action ahead before that draws to a close in April so why not pop along, watch them at JMA or Rivermead …or join one of young teams ?

Details

Date Time League Season
20/01/2019 13:00 National Cup 2018 / 2019

Venue

University of Essex
Boundary Rd, Colchester CO4 3WA, UK