Category: Press Releases

Rockets looking to bounce back after biggest defeat of the season

Reading Rockets (7-3) will be looking to bounce back from their heavy defeat to Derby Trailblazers (6-4) this weekend when they take on Bradford Dragons (4-6) at the John Madejski Academy on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off. Rockets suffered a 77-102 loss at the hands of their visitors last weekend and slip to fourth place in the NBL Division One table after only their second league loss in nine games.

The Berkshire outfit will entertain the Dragons for the first time this term, a team they did the double over last season recording an 89-95 away victory whilst dominating the home affair 100-60. Bradford are on a good run in league play having won three out of the last four with their only loss in that period coming against Hemel Storm in a 94-88 overtime loss.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was disappointed with last weekend’s performance and knows Bradford will provide a tough test for his team this Sunday but believes the group will be ready to respond. He said,

“Last weekend’s loss to Derby was probably the poorest performance of the season from us so far and it was disappointing to see, however we are not defining ourselves on one game and we all get back to practice this week to re-align and re-focus ahead of Sunday’s game against Bradford.”

“Bradford are a well established team in the division and Coach Mellor does a really good job with the groups he has and this year he has a good blend of youth and experience and are a match for anyone on any given day. They have a number of players who know the league really well and this helps them compete with the best teams.”

“Whilst we will respect what Bradford bring to the table on Sunday, I know the players will be wanting to give a response after last week as well as continuing on our journey of being the best we can in every moment.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s clash having had some recent injury and illness concerns. Spanish guard Pau Mayor did not recover in time to face Derby last weekend after sustaining a dead leg the previous week and it will be touch and go as to whether 23 year old will be fit in time for this Sunday. Captain Ed Potter was a doubt for Rockets’ ahead of last Sunday’s loss with a fractured hand, however the 24 year old forward did suit up for the Berkshire outfit and should be fit to play against Bradford. American AJ Carr played through a severe bout of flu last weekend but the Reading team are hopeful he will have fully recovered ahead of this week’s upcoming game.

Rockets are 7-3 through the first ten games of the regular season with a tough schedule to end 2019 with visits to Worthing Thunder, Essex and Herts Leopards (National Cup quarter-final) and Hemel Storm rounding of the year.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website –
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Reading Rockets announce new partnership with Secure Media Services

The Reading Rockets are delighted to announce a new partnership with Secure Media Services who will be supporting our NBL Division 1 Men in 2019-2020 season. Secure Media Services offer a range of logistic solutions with a focus on flexible, customer centric experiences.

The Reading based company that operates worldwide, has supported the family club for a number of years but decided to take the step into sponsorship for the current season. Reading Rockets owner Gary Johnson said “We’re extremely grateful for the support of Jamie and his company, Secure Media Services. After a few meetings he could see our vision over the next 3 years and the strides we’ve made off the court with our league leading live stream and increased presence in the digital space.” Gary went on to say “External sponsorship is vital for the longevity and planned growth of our club over the next few seasons and we feel local businesses, like Jamie’s Secure Media Services, are brilliantly aligned in terms of outlook, culture, and drive.”

Jamie Ward, who is the founder and owner of Secure Media Services, is preparing for a busy period with Black Friday and Christmas approaching, believes the partnership truly benefits both organisations “The work The Rockets do in the community, as well as their impeccable reputation around Reading and the UK made partnering easy”. He also commented on the potential exposure his company can see through this sponsorship “Reading Rockets have significant followings across the social media platforms as well as a live stream that can sees thousands of views each game which can only benefit the visibility of SMS”.

You can see the Secure Media Services logo printed on the home kit shorts as well as their banners at all Rockets games.

Please be sure to visit to see how they can help with any of your personal or business logistics…And be sure to say hello to Jamie at home games!

Rockets looking to continue good form with the visit of Derby Trailblazers

Reading Rockets (7-2) will be looking to keep up their excellent form this weekend as they welcome Derby Trailblazers (5-4) to Reading on Sunday afternoon (5pm tip-off), finally returning to their regular home venue of Rivermead Leisure Complex. Rockets secured a pair of wins last weekend grinding out an 81-67 away win at basement outfit Essex and Herts Leopards (0-9) before advancing to the National Cup quarter-finals with the narrowest of victories in Nottingham, beating the Hoods 78-77 to make it nine wins out of ten in all competitions.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was a happy man after last weekend’s double success but will be hoping his team recover in time for this Sunday’s clash against Derby when they entertain the East Midlands side back in front of their home crowd, something the Irishman is looking forward to. He said,

“Coming off a double header weekend away and three games on the bounce away from the Rivermead, it will be really exciting to get back to playing in front of our home fan base. Derby, another potential top four team in the league will bring different challenges. A team very well coached team who compete as tough as any team in the league. They are capable to score in a variety of ways but obviously Malcolm Smith will need a lot of attention from us. A tough run of league games coming our way and Derby presents as big as challenge as any.”

The Berkshire outfit go into Sunday’s match-up with a number of injury and illness concerns. British guard Ed Potter missed Sunday’s National Cup win against Nottingham with a suspected broken finger and the Reading team won’t know if he will be able to play this weekend until just before the game. Young British point guard David Chive missed both last weekend’s games through illness but the Rockets are hoping the 18 year old makes a full recovery before this weekend’s top of the table clash. Spanish guard Pau Mayor was also out of action last Sunday with a dead leg after featuring heavily during Saturday’s victory over Essex and Herts Leopards. The 23 year old has been receiving treatment on his thigh complaint and will also be a game time decision alongside Ed Potter. Finally, academy player and GB Under 18 Sam Grant also missed last weekend’s double triumph with an ongoing back injury and knee complaint he sustained in an EABL game against Barking Abbey but it is unsure if he will be back to feature this weekend.

With Coach Keane sweating on the fitness of a number of players you can keep up to date with all the latest news and information by following the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website –
Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040

Match Report – Nottingham Hoods v Reading Rockets

After a tough away game the evening before in Essex and four of his senior players injured or sick, it was a depleted in number team that Head Coach Alan Keane took to the north midlands opposition in the fourth round of the National Cup, topped up again with two more academy players Michael Perez and Jacob Cirtautas.

The game opened with Rockets only senior five players conscious that they’d be playing much more than usual and needing to be careful to also not to get into foul trouble. Hoods opened the scoring and then the teams exchanged scores with every offensive as Liam Davis and Nick Richards got Rockets onto the scoreboard. Matias Boho blocked a certain score and Richards stroked a fine treble but back to back trebles from Hoods saw them in the ascendency backed by a noisy and excited crowd inside the arena. A J Carr sent the first of his assists to Davis and the scores were level on 11 apiece. A Hoods treble and three jump shots was answered by a Ben Dixon treble and drive and finish but Rockets found themselves 22-28 down at the end of the opening quarter.

The second period saw Hoods hit three consecutive trebles at the start and ease into a 41-28 lead. Rockets were turning the ball over far too much and compounding this by not being clinical at the offensive end but an awesome 18-3 run gave them an interval advantage of 46-44 as Carr lit up the venue with three trebles and three other scores to take his personal tally to 19 points. From thirteen adrift to two up was a big statement from the Berkshire outfit and meant they were very much still in contention for that quarter final place.

As expected the third period was going to be hard fought as both teams tried to take control but neither did. Hoods levelled on 46 points with the first offensive but six points from Rockets via a Davis pull up and slam dunk coupled to a Dixon assist to Richards to score opened up a 6 point lead. However Hoods did likewise to level on 52 apiece. A Dixon assist to Ross Stepney saw the academy player score before a crucial wide treble from Boho levelled the scores moments before he made a key steal as Hoods looked to extend their lead. Dixon was wiped out as he drove to score but didn’t get any foul from the officials who had a very good game with only 15 fouls called in the whole game and only 5 against Rockets. Nonetheless moments later Boho made a steal and Richards scored and then the courageous Australian Dixon took a charge. It was truly nip and tuck as the scores were equal on 54, 56 and 58 as a 16 points haul for both teams saw Rockets go into the final stanza still with a slim margin advantage of 62-60.

Both teams were fighting for the victory and again the game was tied on 62, 70 and 72 as the end game appeared. A huge downtown treble from Carr brought delight to the travelling supporters but three missed scoring opportunities encouraged the Hoods fans as Rockets were looking tired after their exploits over the 2 weekend games, soon finding themselves 67-70 down.. Could the tired Rockets ignite for the last two minutes. Davis made a great stop and then strove to the other end to slam dunk and see Rockets 4 points with 1 minute 41 seconds remaining. Hoods scored and Coach Keane took a time-out but on the re-start Hoods drove, scored, drew the foul and went into the lead on 77-76 with 21.5 seconds on the clock. Another Keane time-out and plans for the next and probable last offensive with 15.6 left proved to be crucial as the ball was given to Carr who drove to the basket and finished with off the glass to give Rockets the lead. The Hoods time-out and possession that followed was stopped by Rockets who now move onto the National Cup quarter final away to Leopards on Sunday 15th Dec.

Top scorers for Rockets in this breath-taking cup game were A J Carr with 28 pts, Nick Richards with 18 pts, Liam Davis with 14 points but all 9 players were magnificent, even if exhausted.
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Rockets looking to bounce back from defeat to league leaders

Reading Rockets’ (6-2) six game winning streak came to an end last weekend when they were defeated by current league leaders and reigning NBL Division One champions Solent Kestrels (8-0) by 106 points to 89 but remain in the top three in the division.

The Berkshire outfit will look to return to winning ways this weekend when they take on the leagues basement team Essex and Herts Leopards (0-8) on Saturday evening, 5.45pm tip-off at Oaklands College before travelling to the East Midlands to take on fellow NBL Division One outfit Nottingham Hoods (1-7) in the fourth round of the National Cup on Sunday.

Saturday’s encounter against the Leopards will be the first official game between the two teams this term with a pre-season friendly match-up ending in a Rockets home victory 97-74. The Reading team have already faced Sunday’s National Cup opponents after defeating Nottingham at home 98-85 last month in league play.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane has reflected on Saturday’s loss to Solent but is looking forward to getting back to action this weekend against two teams who’s results don’t reflect the dangers they both pose in his opinion. The Irishman said,

“This weekend we face a vastly improved team in Essex who have had a tough set of results so far but traditionally have started games really well so we need to be wary of this. Their record doesn’t reflect their positive performances and they have a lot of talent on their roster so we will prepare for them like any other team whilst keeping the majority of the focus on ourselves and being the best we can be.”

“Sunday brings a different challenge against a team we have already faced this season in Nottingham who have so far not got the results they probably deserve so again it’s only a matter of time before things start to click for them. We will need to respect them as we would any other team in the league and they have a strong inside presence as well as a lot of firepower from different positions so this will be a heavily focused defensive game for us.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with no new injury concerns and with two games upcoming, Coach Keane will be needing to use his roster with eighty minutes of basketball to play in 24 hours. The Berkshire outfit went out at the fourth round stage of the National Cup last season when they were beaten 76-60 by Manchester Magic so the Reading team will be hoping to put those woes behind them and return to winning ways in the league with an opportunity to record win number nine in ten games post this Sunday.

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