With a most unusual 8.40 pm tip in Cardiff, Rockets eased past the home side into the fourth round of the National Cup, where they will be away on Sun 30th Oct to Hemel Storm tipping there at 5 pm. Rockets have won this most prestigious competition twice in their 19 year history and are eager to hold it aloft for a third time, especially now that they are out of the National Trophy.
The game started with both Rockets combo guards Craig Ponder and Juan Valerio on fire as they stroked seven trebles in the opening exchanges as Rockets amassed 32 points in the first quarter and kept City to just 17 pts. Academy student Ibu Demba Jassey made a steal and went coast to coast to slam dunk before another Academy student Fidel Gomez made a great assist the third of Rockets four Academy students, Ali Sbai to drive into an opening and finish a sweet move. Rockets ended the period with five trebles and a three point play ( by University student Paulin Jardim ) in the last three minutes.
The second period was a 26-17 advantage in Rockets favour with both Rockets big guys, captain Danny carter and Spanish forward Dani Arcau both scoring ten points as the mood changed to hard inside work. The half time score of 58-35 reflected Rockets dominance against lower league opposition though under the Cup rules Rockets could only play one import player so Chris Hooper was rested.
With such a commanding lead, the second half was always going to be very different as Head Coach Manuel Pena Garces and his assistant Alan Keane gave most court time to the young and / or inexperienced players. Rockets has five of their eleven team 21 years or less, five between 22 -24 and only captain Danny Carter over 24.
Rockets edged the third quarter by 16-15 and City drew the final period 17 all so Rockets coaching team were not satisfied and have much to work on in the long season ahead but this was still another win , their third since the opening day defeat at Worthing.
Top scorers for Rockets were Craig Ponder 18, Juan Valerio and Dani Arcau 14 each, Danny carter with 12 and both Ibu Demba Jassey and Paulin Jardim with 10 pts. each. Next game is Saturday at Bohunt where Rockets entertain Derby Trailblazers in the league, tipping at 6 pm
|13/10/2016||20:00||National Cup||2016 / 2017|
|Cardiff City House of Sport|
|Clos Parc Morgannwg, Cardiff CF11 8AB, UK|