Category: Match Report

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Myerscough College – National Cup Semi Final

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets77Win
Myerscough College58Loss

Rockets reached their first final in 4 years after reaching the Div.1 Play-off championship and National Trophy semi-finals in 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively.

Despite being without the services of Sam Grant ( long term back injury) coupled to the absence of Rockets Australian guard Ben Dixon, (back home at his brother’s wedding) , Rockets eased themselves into the final with speed of transition causing Myerscough to turn the ball over too much and Rockets capitalising with 35 points from this source alone. With a comfortable lead in the initial three periods, Coach Keane gave his 6 academy players much court time in the final quarter as they gain experience for the final on Sun 2nd Feb at Essex University with a 3.30 pm tip. Rockets couldn’t complete the transfer of their new recruit before the game but he’ll be registered for next week’s Sunday Rivermead game against Liverpool. Which tips at 3.30 pm.

Liam Davis scored Rockets first points with a left handed hook before Pau Mayor finished with a lay-up . Nick Richards began his usual up beat tempo with a fine drive and score, also drawing the foul and making it a 3 point play. Matias Boho took an assist from Richards to stroke a treble from the top of the key and see Rockets enjoy a lead of 16-8 before Coach Keane introduced Ross Stepney and Asher Ndal onto court and seeing Rockets go to the first break with a 22-16 advantage.

Richards and Ndah were the high personal points contributors of the second period with 8 and 7 points respectively with 17 yo Ndah hitting an impressive treble and making another three point play as he was fouled in scoring and then hit the penalty shot too. Rockets had quickly moved to a 36-18 lead before Richards finished with a tip in after rising high and mighty above the opposition. Another academy player, Kivuvu Live, made his debut appearance at Rivermead and soon hit a jump shot to score . Rockets captain, Ed Potter, was leading by example by taking a charge but Rockets thirteen steals showed the main difference between the teams at the interval with Rockets 46-28 ahead.

Myerscough scored first after Rockets missed on their opening possession but it was back to normal service as Richards made yet another steal and then sent an assist to Boho to score. Davis hit a pair from the free throw line as Rockets reached 50 points with a 20 point lead. Mayor and Richards hit trebles whilst Potter worked tirelessly under the basket to score seven personal points as Rockets went into the final quarter 65 – 37 ahead.

Again Myerscough scored first and had a 7-3 run interrupted only as David Chive banked a treble. Kivuvu played well on his debut and hit six more points in this quarter though Myerscough took the opportunity as Coach Keane rested all his senior players and took the final quarter 21-12 . A Kivuvu dish to Chive was one of the highlights of this period as the future looks promising for Rockets academy players as they are such an integral part of Rockets Seniors and seek to further develop themselves at the highest level in English basketball. The final score was 77 -58 though the primary goal was a fine victory and cup final place, something the team delivered and deserved.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 16 pts, 6 assists and 4 steals as Matias Boho hit 13 pts, took down 5 rebounds and made 3 steals. Captain Ed Potter was also in double figures as he hit 10 pts and took down 7 rebounds though watching the development of the academy players remains a great joy for the Rockets leadership team and the supporters.

Details

Date Time League Season
19/01/2020 17:00 National Cup 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Thames Valley Cavaliers

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets81Loss
Thames Valley Cavaliers101Win

Having returned to Reading at 1 am after victory away to Nottingham Hoods the evening before, the fourth and final quarter was a quarter too far for the Rockets as they lost it 32-20 and so the league game, though maintain their third place spot as they’ve played more games.

Pau Mayor stroked Rockets first treble to get the home team on the scoreboard which he followed up with another score but the visitors were also in good form and levelled on 14 and 16 before Richards finished the period with six quick points from an assist from Mayor , a pull up jump shot and a steal from which he not only scored but drew the foul and turned it into a three point play giving Rockets a single score advantage of 25-22.

Mayor extended his personal tally and David Chive gave an assist to Liam Davis to score inside before Davis hit a long shot. However Cavaliers found their length from beyond the arc as they stroked three trebles in a most competitive quarter. Good team work saw the ball move swiftly between Davis to Richards who returned the favour and Davis slammed the ball into the basket. Mayor and Davis were secure form the free throw line and enjoyed a 39-31 lead midway through the period. A Richards coast to coast score and another Davis slam off more great Rockets team work was answered in a 16-6 Cavaliers finish seeing Rockets trail 45-47 at the interval.

Nearly all the stats were very even at the break but the bigger Cavaliers soon began to influence the boards at both ends and they also finished more effectively with second chance points. The third quarter began with the officials prominent with technical and unsportsmanlike fouls though the game was not a dirty affair at all. Captain Ed Potter scored off an offensive rebound as the scores remained very close at 56-58 but a 10-5 Cavaliers finish saw them lead 68-61 into the final period. Despite Richards stopping the rot as Rockets passes went astray and they couldn’t finish around the basket.

Richards started the fourth quarter as he finished the third with a crucial score as Rockets fought to stay in touch with the sharp shooting London based team. A Mayor lay-up and a Ben Dixon treble saw the score at 70-74 within three minutes of the resumption but Rockets looked somewhat jaded in the last seven minutes as Cavaliers converted on virtually every foray into Rockets half whilst Rockets lost their finishing touch as Cavaliers again had a positive finish with a 26-11 run to take the win 100-81.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 25 pts, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals. Liam Davis hit a double double with 19 pts, and 10 rebounds and Pau Mayor continued his influence with 18 pts and 3 assists with Matias Boho hitting 12 pts

Liam Davis was Nando’s Player of the Game

Details

Date Time League Season
12/01/2020 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Nottingham Hoods v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Nottingham Hoods67Loss
Reading Rockets97Win

In a very high tempo affair in the East Midlands Rockets performed well without the services of Sam Grant ( slipped discs ) and not having yet replaced the ‘out for the season’ A J Carr as they travelled north with just 10 players. Rockets had beaten Hoods at home in late October by 98 – 85 and secured a single point win in the National Cup in Nottingham by 78 -77 in late November but this was a stunning performance by Rockets as they overcame Hoods with a 30 point victory that looked secure after the opening quarter 33 – 12 blitz.

Rockets won the tip and Ben Dixon stroked the first of his three trebles before Matias Boho maintained his significant improvement with a stop and a treble as seven of Rockets players all scored in the first six minutes of the game as they opened up a double digit lead at 20-10. Liam Davis was strong on the boards and scored well inside the paint and with his trade mark pull up jump shots too. Nick Richards drove to score before he sent his assists around the arc for Ed Potter to finish which was only bettered when Potter waited for Richards to arrive high and at speed for Richards to score with a great slam and bring the travelling supporters to their feet. Potter worked tirelessly around the boards and was rewarded with seven personal points in the opening period which Rockets won 33-12.

Thinking ahead to the following day’s game , Head Coach Alan Keane was looking for every opportunity to rest his six senior players releasing the academy players with much court time. Keane began the second quarter with three seniors on the bench and it was a delight to see David Obediah give an assist to Richards before Richards gave Dixon an assist for Dixon’s second treble before Boho was the recipient of yet another Richards assist as he sank yet another treble and Rockets had a twenty point lead at 42-22. Davis continued to score inside and then finished a fine Rockets move with a huge slam dunk. Rockets defence was also exemplified by Dixon as the Aussie raced back to make a steal and stop a Hoods score. With just 17 seconds before the interval Pau Mayor brought the ball up court before making a fast drive to the basket where he scored, was fouled and hit the penalty shot to see Rockets with a 53-26 advantage.

Rockets speed of offence caused Hoods much trouble and though Hoods took the third quarter by 25-22 with a 6-0 finishing run, Rockets still enjoyed a 75-51 lead going into the final period. Dixon had his purple patch with seven personal points whilst Potter caused trouble around the basket as he hit six more points including one play where he made three fake moves before scoring under the basket.

With a long return journey ahead (not returning to Reading till 1 am) the players and coaching team wanted to continue the high tempo. This they did as David Chive stroked a treble as did Mayor , Davis continued his dominance inside the paint and another academy player, Asher Ndah continued his development with nearly 19 minutes court time and a score off a offensive rebound. Dixon scored off a fast Rockets break before Coach Keane rested all his starting five. 18 year old Kelsey Espeut got his debut court time experience with an assist to his captain Potter before Mayor hit Rockets last 5 points to seal a very good team performance and crucial win on the road with a thirty point victory 97-67.

Top scorers for Rockets were Liam Davis with a double double of 20 pts and 11 rebounds as all Rockets six seniors turned in double digit scores for the first time this season. Ben Dixon and Ed Potter hit 15 pts apiece with Pau Mayor having 13 pts and Nick Richards 12 pts.

Details

Date Time League Season
11/01/2020 19:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Nottingham Wildcat Arena
Greenwood Rd, Nottingham NG3 7EB, UK

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Westminster Warriors

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets98Win
Westminster Warriors78Loss

Starting the New Year with a victory was high on Rockets goals, especially as Rockets had tasted defeat on the opening day of the season’s campaign in the London Borough . How w ell they achieved that goal with an 18 point win and leading from tip off to buzzer.

With at least 4 Academy players still in Spain on an educational programme which also includes watching top European basketball and competing in tournaments ( JMA Rockets won the U 18 Junior Men Valencia tournament on Sunday ), a depleted team of just eight players took to the court at Rivermead taking the game to Warriors from the first possession. Liam Davis hit Rockets opening points of 2020 and decade before Matias Boho launched the first of his three trebles . When Nick Richards introduced himself to the score board Warriors were 2-11 adrift and called a time-out after just over two minutes play. Some great team play saw Pau Mayor stroking a treble which Rockets followed with a fast break finished by Richards, who extended their lead to double digits as Boho sent an assist to Asher Ndah who hit a treble from wide out seeing Rockets 26-16 ahead.

The second period began as Ndah scored off the glass and the other Academy player playing, David Chive, hit the first of his three trebles as Rockets as Rockets defence also caused Warriors to have a 24 second penalty. Richards hit a treble and Australian guard Ben Dixon also hit one from the top of the key as Rockets moved from just six points ahead to finish the quarter fifteen points ahead with a 12-3 finish taking a 52-37 advantage to the changing rooms at the interval.

Rockets kept up the momentum throughout this third period as Davis and Richards led all scorers during this time and Boho stroked a treble from the top of the key. Rockets defence again caused Warriors into a 24 second violation and capitalised with more fast break points principally through Richards though Davis finished one with a slam and another with a base line buzzer beating jump shot as Rockets extended their advantage to 72-52 as the final stanza beckoned.

Warriors awoke with a 11-2 run at the start of the final quarter, stirring Rockets into action of their own after finding their comfortable twenty point lead reduced to just eleven in the opening two minutes. A Boho treble form beyond the arc stopped the rot and when Boho took a big defensive rebound , Chive stroked a glorious treble form out wide to see Rockets ahead by 80-63, a lead they were to maintain till the end of the game. 18 yo Ndah hit a wide treble and Mayor stroked one too as the game drew to a close with Rockets victorious by 96-78.

Head Coach Alan Keane and Rockets leadership team are still trying to strengthen the team after the loss of A J Carr with a season ending injury just before Christmas, all in preparation for a big double header weekend ahead and then a National Cup semi-final on 19th.

Top scorers for Rockets were Liam Davis with 21 pts and 4 rebounds as Matias Boho hit 19 pts, took down 3 rebounds, had 3 assists and three blocks with Pau Mayor having 16 pts,4 assists and 2 steal and the ever influential Nick Richards with a double double of 15 pts 10 assists and 5 steals.

Details

Date Time League Season
05/01/2020 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Hemel Storm v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Hemel Storm91Win
Reading Rockets75Loss

Before this top of the table clash , Rockets got the most disappointing news from the hand specialist that their influential guard A J Carr had suffered a season ending double fracture in the last training session before Christmas. A J was obviously mortified and in shock but had planned to return home for Christmas whilst Academy guard Sam Grant, the G.B U18 also had his back diagnosis ……three slipped vertebrae leaving Head Coach Alan Keane with much to ponder before the game and certainly over the break.

With his British passport now sorted 18 yo Kelsey Espeut shirted up for Rockets who scored the first points through Matias Boho before Hemel responded. Ben Dixon stroked the first of his five trebles and Boho made a fake move to score. The importance of the game wasn’t lost on anyone in the sports centre and the teams were level on 7, 9 and 12 as trebles were exchanged ( Rockets coming from the influential guard Nick Richards ). A Richards assist to captain Ed Potter coupled to an inside score from the small forward encouraged the academy players now making up 50% of the team though a dubious call which Rockets supporters saw as a great strip by 18 yo David Chive was given as a foul from which Hemel scored seeing them to a 26-18 advantage at the first break.

Liam Davis opened Rockets account at the start of the second period with a hook shot but a fluky treble glanced off the glass saw Hemel increase their lead to 33-21 but a Richards assist to Dixon saw the Aussie excellent beyond the arc. When Richards made a steal, one of seven during the game, he went coast to coast to slam dunk and reduce Rockets deficit to just four points at 29-33. A Potter spin and finish was accompanied by another Richards drive and spin score as Rockets got within a single score of Hemel but yet again a very, very tough call against the resurgent visitors saw Hemel at the line. A Richards rejection, assist to Dixon, and drive through the eye of a needle kept Rockets close at 36-38 and though Hemel were secure from the penalty line it was an electrically fast tracking back by Richards that made a stop and saw Rockets closer to Hemel at 38-44 at the interval having taken the quarter 20-18.

Storm’s shooting prowess beyond the arc had given them the advantage but Richards and Dixon matched them in this third period though Rockets missed four consecutive lay-ups which saw Hemel back with a double digit lead for most of the time and though a Davis slam dunk and Richards drive brought the quarter to an end Rockets found themselves adrift by 53-63 as the final quarter beckoned.

Richards was fighting the good fight throughout the game as he put in an outstanding performance. Hemel just couldn’t stop the American even fouling him in an unsportsmanlike fashion as they tried to stop his personal onslaught. Though they failed in that, five trebles in the final quarter by the sharp shooting Hertfordshire team, saw Hemel take the win at 91-75. This leaves Rockets in joint third place in the league but four consecutive Sunday afternoon home games at Rivermead to start their 2020 campaign, including a crucial National Cup semi -final on 19th January , will left the Berkshire team as they seek one of the three trophies on offer this season.

Top scorers for Rockets were the outstanding Nick Richards who led all scorers with 31 pts, 7 rebounds, 7 steals and 4 assists as Ben Dixon hit 15 pts, Ed Potter 11 points and Liam Davis with 10 pts and 8 rebounds. Rockets begin their New Year by hosting Westminster Warriors who beat them in the opening league game of the season.

Details

Date Time League Season
21/12/2019 19:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre
Hemel Hempstead Leisure Centre 45A Park Rd, Hemel Hempstead HP1 1JS, UK