In a display of excellent basketball and unforgiving pressure Rockets eased past lower league opposition in the form of the Welsh Div.3 side who beat Worthing Thunder just one week ago to reach this stage. From tip to buzzer Rockets never took their foot off the power pedal scoring at least 30 points in each quarter, something of a new record for Manuel Pena Garces and his side.
Sydney Donaldson troubled the scorers first with a treble and drive score quickly followed by a right hand slam dunk from left handed Joel Keeble. Tim Gill again dominated the boards at both ends picking up 10 personal points in the opening quarter including a double handed slam dunk as Rockets took this period 30-7.
Ali Sbai gave Gill a superb assist and then received a similar gift from Rockets captain Danny Carter. Donaldson was driving determinedly to the basket with regularity giving him 15 points before the interval. Carter was spreading telling passes in various guises enabling his team mates to feast on the assists and occasionally hitting a pull up jump shot himself. Sbai showed his vision with a length of the court pass from end line to adjacent to the ring for Gill to finish but Donaldson sealed the half time at 61-17 as he sent an assist to Sbai for a treble and then scored with a buzzerbeating drive,
Cardiff had their best quarter when they scored 14 pts in the third but Rockets had their best too with a 32 point haul. Quick thinking by Declan Soukup gave Gill a score off the glass before three assists by Donaldson to Keeble, Gill and Keeble again , for a treble, coupled to a Soukup pull up score saw Rockets to a 50 point lead at 72-22 mid-way through the third
quarter. Jonny Foulds purple patch was this period as he stroked a treble from the top of the key, drove and scored off the glass, took down an offensive rebound to score and then was the grateful recipient of a Donaldson dish to hit another treble. Carter finished the quarter with 5 personal points and one of his 8 assists to Donaldson as Rockets enjoyed a 93-31 lead.
Sbai opened Rockets continued barrage with a double handed slam and Donaldson with perfect timing drove to score on the buzzer. Cardiff’s only treble of the game came early in this final period but Carter was masterful with his assists, Gill still working hard inside and recent promote from Rockets Div.4 side Charles Acquah Davis hitting a treble as Rockets won comfortably by 124 -44 and secured a quarter final spot in the National Cup where they’re drawn away . The game to be played on Sun 19th Nov .
Top scorers for Rockets were Donaldson with 26 pts., and 4 steals; Tim Gill with a double double of 24 pts., and 13 rebounds; Jonny Foulds also with a double double of 19 pts., and 12 rebounds; Ali Sbai with 17 pts., Joel Keeble with 12 pts., and Carter with 8 pts., 10 rebounds and 8 assists BUT make no mistake this was an awesome team display with every player scoring and playing a significant role as coached by Manuel Pena Graces who left the
arena with a broad smile on his face recognising that next weekends’ Manchester away league game will be a much different affair.
|29/10/2017||17:00||National Cup||2017 / 2018|
|Sheerlands Rd, Wokingham RG40, UK|