Reading Rockets70Win
Thames Valley Cavaliers67Loss

Match Report

With Rivermead unavailable Rockets played this game at their training and academy venue, The John Madejski Academy.  Two of the young Academy students played major roles in this vital win that sees Rockets up to 5th place in the league, as 16 yo David Chive made a steal with just 4.6 secs remaining and then hit both free throws in an ice cool manner to see Rockets secure the game. Arinze Emeka Anyakwo had his best game at this level by far as he knew before tip that captain Danny Carter was side-lined with his ongoing back strain so put in the performance of his Senior season as he top scored with 22 points and was a major trouble to Cavaliers from tip to buzzer.

With both teams playing the night before and not getting back till the early hours of Sunday, both Head Coaches would have been conscious of tiredness and concentration maybe creeping in as the game progressed but neither had any such worries as the game was extremely tight from tip to the last play which quarter differences of just 1, 2, 1 and 3 show. The opening 10 points were shared as Emeka Anyakwo hit 5 of them before A J Carr stroked a big treble and added 6 personal points but having had a 17-9 lead Rockets had a 13-4 reversal to be adrift 21-22 at the end of the quarter.

Period 2 began with the lead being swapped by virtually each offense. Sydney Donaldson and Trae Pemberton stroked trebles as the game hotted up and Tanner Kuehn was secure from the penalty stripe. A Cavaliers tip in with the last play saw Rockets ahead but just by 40-38.

Some strong defence helped Rockets to extend their advantage at the start of the third period whilst Pemberton and Chive were on the money beyond the arc. Within 4 minutes of the re-start Rockets enjoyed their best lead of double figures at 50-40  but Cavaliers hit back with a 15-5 run to draw level on 55 apiece before Donaldson hit a free throw to see Rockets go into the final stanza with a single point lead of 56-55.

Cavaliers took the early lead before Donaldson struck a treble but the game was soon tied on 59. A Cavaliers treble, one of just 2 successful ones during the whole game for them,  edged them ahead and with 2 minutes 20 sec to go Rockets were 3 down.  An assist from Carr to Emeka-Anyakwo saw him draw Rockets level on 66 with a key treble. Carr scored inside with 1.06 left but Cavaliers had possession. Rockets stopped them scoring and then and having had a shot rim out, Rockets needed another stop. And how they did it as 16 yo Chive made a steal and held on to the ball as he was fouled. With huge confidence the youngster hit both free throws to give Rockets a virtually unassailable 4 point advantage with just 1.9 secs on the clock. Cavaliers hit a single point but the sweet victory belonged to Rockets 70-67 and a rise of 2 places up the league table to 5th with just 4 games remaining, the final 2 being at Rivermead  on 24th and 31st March.

Top scorers for Rockets were Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo with 22 pts and 6 rebounds ably assisted by A J Carr with 16 pts and 7 rebounds coupled to 4 assists and 3 steals. Trae Pemberton had recovered enough to score 15 pts, take down 7 rebounds and make 3 assists with Sydney Donaldson nearly having a double double with 8 pts and 10 rebounds.



Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040



Date Time League Season
10/03/2019 18:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019


John Madejski Academy
112-118 Hartland Rd, Reading, Reading RG2, UK