Category: Mens Team

Rockets to face league leaders in top of the table clash

Reading Rockets (6-1) will take on reigning NBL Division One champions and current league leaders Solent Kestrels (7-0) on Saturday evening, 6pm tip-off at Solent Sports Complex in what’s billed as a top of the table clash. Rockets extended their winning streak to seven in all competitions and six in league play last weekend when they defeated Leicester Warriors (3-4) by 82 points to 67 to keep up the pace at the top of the division alongside Saturday’s upcoming opponents and Hemel Storm (6-1).

Kestrels have won all of their seven contests so far this season and remain the team to beat having secured the league championship last term including a league double over the Rockets with an 86-75 home win before securing victory in Reading by the narrowest of margins 90-91.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to see his team overcome a gritty Leicester Warriors outfit and is relishing this weekend’s match up with league leaders Solent Kestrels. He said,

“Sunday’s win against Leicester was a really important one for us as they are a really hard unit to break down with some very good talent. Our performance in the second half was a lot better and I am really pleased with the progression the players are showing in their behaviours and tactics.”

“This weekend’s game promises to be one of our hardest tests yet against a very very impressive Solent outfit. The great thing is we have been ready for every challenge so far this season and, whilst we respect the current league champions, this Saturday will be no different in terms of how we prepare and look to execute.”

“Defensively, we will have to be at a very good standard and commit to every action and if we do this then we can definitely have a very positive performance. For us, it is another stepping stone to be the best we can be but we are certainly relishing the chance to play the top team in the league thus far.”

Rockets will be hoping to go into Saturday’s mouthwatering clash with no injury concerns after American AJ Carr was declared fully fit for last Sunday’s win against Leicester Warriors. Coach Keane will be looking for his first ever win in Solent since taking over the head coaching reigns with the Berkshire outfits last win over their Southampton rivals coming in March 2018 at Rivermead Leisure Complex.

The Reading team now embark on a three game road trip so to follow all the latest news and game updates check in at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

Media@readingrockets.co.uk
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Match Report – Reading Rockets v Leicester Warriors

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets82Win
Leicester Warriors67Loss

With Rivermead not available Rockets played in the confines of the John Madejski Academy sports hall though with loud and dedicated supporters.

Rockets recorded their sixth win on the trot as they overcome a strong and talented Warriors team after the game was level at 41 each at the interval but Rockets took the last 2 quarters by 41- 26 to take a convincing victory and keep the pressure on the unbeaten Solent Kestrels whom Rockets face away on Saturday.

Rockets stormed the opening minutes, Ben Dixon made a great steal and a block as Rockets established a 8-0 run before Warriors took a time-out. From that moment Warriors hit 3 trebles as they went on an 18- 8 run to take the first period 18-16 having surprised the confident Rockets with their offensive prowess.

Nick Richards brought Rockets level on 18 and with David Chive and A J Carr also adding to Rockets points , the hosts found themselves 5 points up but another treble from Warriors kept the scores close or tied throughout this second quarter. Chive hit Rockets first treble and then Carr and Matias Boho stroked a brace as Rockets went to the locker room level on 41 points with Warriors American T J Henderson leading all scorers with 19 of Warriors 41 points. Rockets had commanded the boards by 20-13 and already had made 8 assists but the 6 Warriors trebles showed Head Coach Alan Keane that his team needed to step up if they wanted to take the victory.

Rockets fast breaks had caused Warriors problems in the first half and was to remain a thorn in Warriors side as Rockets peppered a total of 24 points against Warriors 6 in the second half.

Liam Davis hit a long score from wide out but an interception by Richards was the early highlight of the third quarter as he rose to slam dunk and raise the roof of the arena. Still Warriors stayed in contention to level at 51 but a 9-0 run saw Rockets enjoy a 60-51 advantage as the final period beckoned., thanks in part to a 10 point personal haul by Richards and a huge block by Boho that again raised the roof.

Richards had another slam dunk to open the quarter giving Rockets their first double digit advantage , something they weren’t to lose for the remainder of the game. Chive stroked a treble from wide out and then Richards made a steal and scored with a finger roll. Another huge and powerful rejection by Boho was acclaimed around the arena and soon Rockets had a 70-56 lead with over 6 minutes to go. Still the Warriors cry went up ’ there’s plenty of time ‘ as indeed there was but Rockets now looked very strong and determined to keep such a lead and take another win. Richards finished yet another excellent display by the American guard with a rejection followed by a slam and a free throw as Rockets extended their winning streak to 6. As the score line showed an 82-67 victory.

Rockets had kept Warriors Henderson to just 5 points in the second half as Rockets made 15 steals to disrupt Warriors offence whilst also outscoring Warriors 48-34 in the paint.

Top scorers for Rockets and the Nando’s Player of the Game , was Nick Richards who hit 32 pts, took down 6 rebounds, made 4 steals and 3 assists. A J Carr was near to a double double with 15 pts and 8 rebounds whilst Academy student David Chive hit 10 pts and made 3 assists though Coach Keane will have been delighted with most of Rockets second half display after his interval team talk.

Media@readingrockets.co.uk
Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040
www.readingrockets.co.uk

Details

Date Time League Season
10/11/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

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

Rockets ready to do battle with Warriors at JMA

Reading Rockets (5-1) will lock horns with Leicester Warriors (3-3) this Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off when the Berkshire outfit host for the second time in three week’s at their training venue of the John Madejski Academy with Rivermead Leisure Complex once again being out of use to the Reading team. Rockets secured a pair of victories last weekend when they defeated Liverpool Basketball (2-4) by 90 points to 86 in a hard fought away win in NBL Division One, before safely advancing to the fourth round of the National Cup with success over NBL Division Two outfit Team Birmingham Elite by 101 points to 52 to set up a fourth round tie away at Nottingham Hoods.

Last weekend’s successes meant that Coach Alan Keane’s team won their fifth straight league game and made it six wins on the bounce in all competitions thanks to Sunday’s National Cup victory but the Rockets play-caller knows that the league is more competitive than ever especially after last Saturday’s hard fought win in Liverpool. Ahead of the visit of Leicester Warriors, of which Keane has described as a “very tricky test”, the Irishman said,

“Last weekend was a really enjoyable one for us, not withstanding the results, but the fact we were able to spend a good amount of time together having stayed away on Saturday evening and grow closer as a unit so that for me was the most pleasing part of the two days. Gaining two wins in the process was very positive but Saturday’s game showed us again that anyone can beat anyone in this league, even the newly-promoted teams are really competitive.”

“This week we will be working on areas identified from the games last weekend as well as preparing for a Leicester team that will provide us with a very tricky test. Coach Karl Brown’s teams are always very competitive and really hard to break down and this season will be no different I’m sure. However for us we will keep focusing on being the best through committing to our desired outcomes for the week.”

“I am really looking forward to this weekend’s game and hopefully we will have a fully fit team as we look to continue our positive start to this season.”

Rockets should go into this weekend’s match-up with Warriors with no new injury concerns after American AJ Carr returned to the group for Saturday’s win over Liverpool, and despite sitting out of Sunday’s National Cup success due to Basketball England rules, the 6’6 forward has felt no ill effects of his groin injury that ruled him out of Rockets’ last home game against Barking Abbey.

The two teams exchanged wins last season with Rockets’ taking the game in Leicester by 96 points to 82 before the Warriors handed the Reading team their biggest home defeat of last term winning 89-63 at Rivermead back at the beginning of February.

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

Media@readingrockets.co.uk

Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040

www.readingrockets.co.uk

Match Report Team Birmingham Elite v Reading Rockets -3rd Round Cup match

In the third round of the National Cup away to Birmingham and without A J Carr as Rockets cannot play 2 import players against lower league opposition in the cup, the developing Spaniard Pau Major was given a key role as Head Coach Alan Keane played all his academy players for many minutes with Major as the ‘conductor’ for most of the time after Rockets had stormed the opening period with a game winning 34-7 score.

The first quarter had seen Nick Richards hit 14 personal points including a brace of trebles which Major matched as Ben Dixon began with a block and Matias Boho a hook score. Birmingham Head Coach was not happy with his players or the officials and was given a technical foul mid-way through the opening exchanges. Ed Potter took down his own offensive rebound and when fouled hit both free throws. David Chive did likewise from the penalty stripe and Coach Keane showed his plans by introducing 4 academy players.

The second quarter was a tighter affair as Rockets youngsters fought to retain the supremacy displayed by the team in the first period. This they did, just, by 13-12 as they settled into their roles . Asher Ndah finished a great 5 man offence before then stopping a Birmingham score. Liam Davis was asked to get some exercise and scored with a pair of slam dunks. Rockets had dominated the boards by 29-12 , had made 13 assists and stole the ball on 8 occasions to have a comfortable lead of 47-19 at the interval.

Coach Keane began the third period with his starting five but Birmingham hit the first score. Richards made a great rip to steal the ball and on the Rockets offence Birmingham’s captain D. Penkov and their Head Coach were called again for technical fouls against the officials so both were ejected from the sports hall increasing the pressure on the young Birmingham Elite. Matias Boho was given a long run in this quarter and hit ten personal points including a treble from a Sam Grant assist. Major hit another brace of trebles though it was good to see the hosts stroke their only treble of the game to much applause from both sets of supporters as Elite kept coming and competing for every ball. However a 31-17 period had made the game impossible for them to win as Rockets enjoyed a 78-36 lead as the final period began.

Seven of Rockets players scored in this quarter with four academy players troubling the scorers as Major made a steal, tipped out another Elite offence and took his own tally to his best so far this season of 20 points. Ndah slammed a score after an assist from Boho before he stroked a treble from out wide having taken the defensive rebound moments before which led to Rockets gaining the possession from which he scored. A final period of 23-16 gave Rockets passage to the next round with a 101-52 victory.

Rockets have again been drawn away and will now play either Derbyshire Arrows or Nottingham Hoods on Sun 24th Nov in the fourth round.

Top scorers for Rockets were Pau Major with 20 pts, 4 steals, 4 assist and 3 rebounds with Nick Richards, Matias Boho and Ed Potter hitting 18 pts apiece.

Media@readingrockets.co.uk

Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040

www.readingrockets.co.uk

Match Report – Liverpool Basketball v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Liverpool Basketball86Loss
Reading Rockets90Win

Conscious of a double header weekend ahead of them Rockets were keen to get the league win ahead of the National Cup 3rd round at Birmingham the following day and set about their challenge with zest as they stormed the opening quarter 21-12.

A J Carr sent the first of his 7 assists to 6’9” Liam Davis to slam dunk to open Rockets account which Carr followed up with a second assist to Ben Dixon and a third to American guard Nick Richards within the first 3 minutes of the game showing his value to the Reading team. Davis played well inside and outside the box as he stroked a treble and drew fouls as he scored in the paint. When Carr hit a treble wide out thanks to a Pau Major assist, Rockets looked comfortable at the end of the first period.

But what a fight back from the hosts as they stroked 4 trebles as they raised their game and were clinical offensively as they took the second quarter 26-23 whilst Matias Boho stopped one offensive with a huge rejection but still the talented Liverpool team came forward threatening with every move. Carr and Richards hit trebles for Rockets but with 14 points off Rockets turnovers, Head Coach Alan Keane was not pleased seeing this stat at the interval. Liverpool had also scored 11 points off fast breaks and made 8 steals as they fought tenaciously to reduce Rockets advantage at the break to 44-38.

From their biggest lead of 23-12 early in the second period Rockets needed and again had a strong third quarter though a 9-0 final run by Liverpool saw Rockets advantage slightly increased to 65-57 thanks mainly to a brace of key trebles from 18 year old David Chive and 6 points apiece from Davis and Richards. Two highlights included some great team work giving Rockets a 15 point lead at 60-45 and a crucial defensive rebound from Davis which saw the ball quickly out to Carr who lifted a ball high over the basket for Davis to come flying in and score with an alley-oop. With just a couple of minutes to the start of the final stanza Rockets again looked to have control but an unopposed 9 points finish by Liverpool including a 3 point play 0.3 seconds from the buzzer encouraged the hosts having fought back from a 21-10 run to finish the quarter just 8 points adrift at 65-57.

A defensive rebound from Richards stopped Liverpool’s first offence but they did score off yet another Rockets turnover, quickly followed by a jump shot to reduce Rockets lead to just 4 points. A Dixon finish off a Carr assist and a Richards drive eased Rockets out to a 7 point advantage at 69-62 but 3 trebles from Liverpool in less than 2 minutes either side of a Richards floater score saw Rockets stay ahead but by just 2 at 73-71. However yet again Rockets stayed 3 points ahead after a Carr assist to Dixon. But Liverpool would not give up and kept coming and staying within a single score of a win on their home court……and with their treble shooting so effective ( they hit 12 during the game ) , Coach Keane knew his team needed at least a 4 point advantage in the end game scenario that was brewing. 6 ahead with 2 minutes 20 seconds remaining had Rockets 6 in the lead but another Liverpool treble brought them closer to their goal. Carr scored but Liverpool replied immediately . A Richards treble effort rimmed out and Liverpool stroked their twelfth treble to get within that single score at 88-86 with 16 seconds left on the clock. Liverpool took a time-out but Rockets stopped their offence and Chive was fouled as he took down the rebound taking him to the line whee he hit 1 from 2 so Rockets led 89-86 but Liverpool had the ball and probable final play. Focus and high intensity defensive was the order of the day and Carr made the crucial block and went to the line for the final penalty shots. 1 from 2 made the final score 90-86 in a most competitive and rewarding game for Rockets. Still much to work on for Coach Keane and his coaching team but they stay second in the league with a 5-1 record.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals with Liam Davis having a second consecutive double double by hitting 16 points and taking down 13 rebounds besides making 3 assists. David Chive hit 15 points including 3 trebles and made 4 assists whilst A J Carr was very influential with 15 points 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Ben Dixon was Rockets 5th player in double figures with 13 pts and 3 assists.

Details

Date Time League Season
02/11/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Archbishop Beck Sports College
55 Long Ln, Liverpool L9 7BF, UK