Category: Press Releases

Rockets take on Dragons in final game of 2017

Reading Rockets (7-2) will make the long journey north on Saturday when they take on Bradford Dragons (3-6) in their final NBL Division One game of 2017 (6.15pm tip-off). Rockets ground out a hard fought 75-70 victory over Leicester Warriors last Sunday to keep up the pace at the top of the league and will be hoping to close out the year with a positive result against an opponent they have already beaten in league play this season back in November when they recorded a 95-74 win at Rivermead Leisure Complex.

Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcès was relieved to see his team just do enough to win last Sunday’s game but also had praise for this team as they weathered the Warriors fourth quarter comeback, an area the Berkshire team have struggled with of late. The Spanish play-caller said,

I thought we played well in parts against Leicester but it was one of those games where we had to really dig deep to come out with a positive result and I felt we did that at times which is a good step for us considering the ending we have had in recent games. We need to be better with the quality we deliver and be more consistent in the way we do so and that is something that will be key for us after the Christmas break.

This weekend we make the long journey to Bradford to take on a competitive and well coached team. Chris (Mellor, Bradford Head Coach) always prepares his teams well and at home they are a real threat so we will need to be ready for the different challenge this game will pose compared to the one last month. We will be working on elements of what they will potentially do but keep the focus on ourselves and being better as we prepare for the last game of this year.

Overall I am pleased with where we are to date. We have had some ups and downs so far this year but this has provided us all with some positive learning and the necessity to keep working and building throughout the season. Our aim is to keep doing this and making sure we leave no stone unturned as we continue to apply pressure at the top of the division, a place where we would like to be at the end of this season.

Rockets go into Saturday’s match-up with Bradford with no new injury concerns but will be without duo Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo who are on Under 18 duty back home in Reading. The Bradford game is the final time the Reading team will take to the court in 2017 as their scheduled game against Team Solent Kestrels is postponed as the Southampton based side are in National Cup semi-final action.

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Rockets face Warriors in final home game of 2017

Reading Rockets (6-2) will be in action for the final time this year at home when they host Leicester Warriors (2-6) on Sunday evening at Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Rockets split last weekend’s game as they lost out to the current NBL Division One league leaders, Loughborough Student Riders by 71 points to 61 before redeeming themselves with a hard fought 83-72 win away at Kent Crusaders to keep up the heat at the top of the league going into their final two games of 2017. Sunday’s opponents Leicester Warriors have had a difficult start to their league campaign only winning two of their opening eight games but the Midlands team’s two wins have come in the last three games and they will be hoping to take a top of the table scalp as they look to continue their better form.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcès left last weekend with mixed feelings but knows his team has an opportunity to finish the year strong before the Christmas break and can use this period to improve on things and prepare thoroughly for their next two encounters. The Spanish play-caller said,

We played three really good quarters against Loughborough on Saturday but had another poor fourth quarter so that is a concern we will take forward and work on as it cost us the game and nearly affected the outcome on Sunday too. That said, we are playing better basketball and being much more competitive but now we need to make sure we remain focused and disciplined in the key moments, something we will address as a group this week.

This weekend’s game against Leicester will be a tricky one, as despite their league position, they are always difficult to play against because of their physicality and commitment to playing. We will need to do a good job in making sure we are prepared for their individual players and tendencies but the focus will be on ourselves to take another step in the right direction and be ready in more moments as well as being better in the difficult ones.

Rockets go into Sunday’s game against Leicester with no new injury concerns with Americans Scotty Hendricks and Tim Gill recovering from their respective injuries to make it through last weekend’s match-ups. The Berkshire club will be hoping to keep up their impressive record against Sunday’s visitors having beaten their opponents in the last 11 league outings going back to the beginning of 2012 with a win for the Reading team a must if they are to keep up the pace at the top of NBL Division One.

Prior to the game, the Rockets Division One Women will be in action at 2.30pm as they host Team Solent Kestrels, also at Rivermead Leisure Complex. The Rockets Women are currently 3 and 2 in league play and Coach David Sanchez will be hoping his team can put their cup exit to Ipswich behind them and bounce back with a win against one of the league’s most established teams but who are in a bit of trouble near the bottom of the table with only two wins from their first eight outings.

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Rockets look to continue good league form

Reading Rockets (5-1) will look to put the disappointment of their National Cup exit last Sunday behind them when they face another double header this weekend in NBL Division One. The Berkshire outfit will host league front-runners Loughborough Student Riders (5-1) on Saturday evening, 5pm tip-off at Bohunt School, before travelling to Barking on Sunday afternoon to face Kent Crusaders (3-4), 4pm tip-off. Rockets extended their good run in league play last Saturday when they were victorious over Derby Trailblazers, securing a 92-76 away win to move to five wins from six games and third in the league table. The Reading team were unable to make it a perfect weekend as they fell short against Team Solent Kestrels who played a great game and defeated the Rockets 89-67 to advance to the semi-finals of the National Cup.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés had mixed emotions after last weekend’s games but knows that the journey his team is on will be a long one and with two more competitive games ahead of him and his group this weekend, he is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. The Spaniard said,

We put in a really positive performance last Saturday against Derby and came away with a very important win but on Sunday we really did not perform and credit to Team Solent, they really exploited us and deserved to advance to the semi-finals. This is the game we must review and be better from and that is what we will do starting from our first practice of the week.

In the league, we are in a very healthy position still and have two more opportunities this weekend to compete and be better against two very good teams. Loughborough finished last season on the front foot and played some excellent basketball They have continued to do so at the start of this season and have become one of the teams to beat in this division. For us, they are coming to our home court where we have been very good so far and we are looking for a response after Sunday’s performance so I am expecting an intense battle with both teams holding a 5 and 1 record.

On Sunday we will then turn our attention to Kent Crusaders, another well coached team that has young talent ready to compete and win so we will need to be ready for this whatever the result is on Saturday. We need to continue to make sure we are taking one game at a time and learning and working for each other every time we step on the floor. It’s a time for hard work but a time to also enjoy what we are doing.

Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with some injury concerns. Point guard Scotty Hendricks injured his ankle during Saturday’s win against Derby and despite playing through Sunday’s defeat to Team Solent it will be touch and go as to whether he is fit in time for the visit of Loughborough this Saturday. His American counterpart Tim Gill has a back complaint but the Berkshire outfit are hopeful it is nothing serious and expect the 23 year old to be fit for both games this weekend. Australian Declan Soukup is expected to return to the fold after missing last weekend through illness as is Under 18 Adrian Nosa Castillo who was also out with a sickness bug.


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Photos courtesy of Shaun Colley

Rockets on the road for league and cup double header

Reading Rockets (4-1) will take to the road this weekend when they firstly head to the East Midlands to take on Derby Trailblazers (2-3) in NBL Division One on Saturday evening (7.15pm tip-off) before making the short trip from Reading to Southampton to play rivals Solent Kestrels (4-2) on Sunday afternoon (3pm tip-off) in the National Cup quarter-final. Rockets bounced back from their defeat to Manchester Magic the previous weekend with an impressive 95-74 victory over Bradford Dragons last Sunday to keep up the pace at the top of NBL Division One as they face a tough double header weekend.

Saturday evening’s opponents, Derby Trailblazers narrowly lost out to Sunday’s opposition Solent Kestrels by 75 points to 73 last weekend and in all five of their NBL Division One games the win/loss gap has been no higher than 9 points. Solent Kestrels will also provide a difficult test for the Berkshire outfit having already beaten them in the National Trophy earlier this season by 93 points to 78. Both teams overcame lower division opposition on their way to the last eight of the National Cup competition with the Reading team defeating a spirited BC Medelynas London by 93 points to 77 and a convincing 124-44 win against Cardiff City whilst Sunday hosts gained comfortable wins over Barking Abbey Crusaders (102-45) and Westminster Warriors (86-67).

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was happy to see his team bounce back from the defeat to Manchester Magic but knows this weekend’s double header will be another stern test for his side. The Reading play-caller said,

I was pleased with our performance against Bradford in many parts of the game and that enabled us to get back to winning ways. In other parts of the game it highlighted the need for us to continue to work in areas of the game we need to be better in and this is what we will continue to do this week and across the season. Our focus remains at the defensive end and making sure we are not allowing teams to get comfortable playing against us.

This weekend will be another great test for us. Derby is always a tough place to go and although they are still building for their season they pose some threats we must negate if we are to go there and win. I like what Coach Matt (Shaw, Derby Trailblazers Head Coach) has done over the years with his teams and we will be working hard to better ourselves to give us a chance to perform well against a good, organised unit.

After Saturday’s game is when we will then turn our attention to Sunday’s knockout game against Solent. For us, they have been a tricky team to play against but the experience we do have is one of learning and how we must be better against a strong group who have started the season very well. We know the areas we want to focus on for this game so when we have navigated this week and Saturday’s game, I feel we will be ready for a tough battle!

Rockets go into this weekend’s league and cup double header with no new injury concerns with Coach Manuel Peña Garcés having a full roster to select from including Under 18 duo Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo who missed last Sunday’s win over Bradford Dragons due to an Under 18 game. Division Four regular Charles Acquah-Davis has been a part of the roster in the previous few weeks as cover but looks set to retain his place in Reading’s top team as they look to remain in the top four of NBL Division One and reach the final four of the National Cup.

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Rockets looking to bounce back after first defeat of the regular season

Reading Rockets (3-1) will be looking to return to winning ways this weekend when they host Bradford Dragons (2-1) on Sunday afternoon returning to their home venue, Rivermead Leisure Complex (5pm tip-off). Rockets lost out for the first time during this campaign as they were defeated by rivals Manchester Magic (3-1) by 93 points to 88 last Saturday evening to leave themselves as one of seven teams with a single loss in the first five weeks of the league season. Sunday’s opponents also have one loss to their name having been defeated by the leagues new-boys Kent Crusaders by 82 points to 76, but the West Yorkshire outfit has picked up wins against Loughborough Student Riders (80-77) and most recently Leicester Warriors (104-70) to keep them in the mix early on in the 2017-18 season.

In speaking ahead of his teams game against Bradford Dragons as well as reflecting on last Saturday’s defeat to Manchester Magic, Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés remained in a positive mood but knows there is a lot of work for his team to do, especially at the defensive end of the floor. The Reading play-caller said,

Whilst there were a lot of positives to take from Saturday’s game against Manchester, our focus needs to be on two key areas; firstly, missing 14 free throws is unacceptable for us so we have to be better in this area, and secondly, we cannot give up the number of points we are if we are to consistently win games, so work on the defence end is going to be really important and where are focus needs to be. We will undoubtedly improve but as a reflection for this game, these are the specific areas we need to work on moving forward.”

This weekend we take on Bradford who are always tough to play against. Year in year out Coach Chris (Mellor, Bradford Dragons Head Coach) does a great job in maximising the talent he has on the floor and gets his team to be competitive and difficult to beat and we know this season will be no different. They have good, young talent at multiple spots and will definitely be a handful but this is a perfect opportunity for us to take the next step and show an improved performance against one of the more established teams in the division.

Rockets will go into Sunday’s match-up with Bradford having split games with their visitors last season. The Berkshire outfit were defeated away from home last year 102-96 before winning their home fixture 108-85. The Reading team also has no current injury concerns and will be hoping that captain Danny Carter will get another full week of training under his belt as he returns to match fitness. The Berkshire side will also welcome back Under 19 forward Alex Drincic and Under 18 duo Adrian Nosa Castillo and Iñigo Perez Baena as they look to make it three wins out of four and continue to start the season in good form.

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