Reading Rockets will open up their 2017-18 season campaign with a trip to last season’s NBL Division Two champions Kent Crusaders on Saturday 23rd September, (tip-off currently to be confirmed), before hosting their play-off conquerors from last season Team Solent Kestrels on Sunday 24th September at Rivermead Leisure complex (5pm tip-off). Both games see the start of the National Trophy group stages with Worthing Thunder being the other outfit to make up Pool 3. Rockets’ first NBL Division One league game should see them travel to face the leagues other new boys Team Newcastle University on Sunday 8th October but this fixture is still to be confirmed. The Berkshire outfit will begin at home the following weekend when they take on Hemel Storm on Saturday 14th October, 5pm tip-off.
Rockets will join this season’s National Cup competition at the third round stage on Sunday 15th October and will play away at either Oxford Stealers, Oxford City, Swindon Shock, or BC Medelynas London. This season’s opening BBL Trophy game will take place before Christmas on Sunday 17th December with the Berkshire outfit’s opponents yet to be drawn. The Reading team will finish off their regular season with a double header away trip when they take on last season’s NBL Division One Champions, Team Northumbria on Saturday 24th March at Sports Central before being hosted by Lancashire Spinners the following day, Sunday 25th March, in their final game of the campaign.
The squad will start their pre-season proceedings prior to this on Tuesday 29th August with Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés back at the helm for a fifth season assisted once again by newly-appointed JMA Academy Director Alan Keane. Both coaches have had an extremely busy summer but are looking forward to returning to Reading and have the goal of claiming silverware this year after a three year absence. Head Coach Peña Garcés has been working with the Spanish Federation over the summer period, delivering on the country’s top coaching qualification as well as holding a number of clinics for coaches from in and around his native Spain. Assistant Coach Keane led the Great Britain Under 18 Men’s team to the silver medal position in Division B at the European Championships but more importantly and impressively gaining promotion to Division A at the first time of asking.
Rockets will open up their pre-season period with a trio of friendly games in their second week of training, the home games being behind closed doors. The Berkshire outfit will play their annual friendly game against Team USA Select on Tuesday 5th September at the John Madejski Academy, before hosting a Norwegian team, Fyllingen who play in the top league in Norway on Friday 8th September. And their busy week will be rounded off with a trip to the Brentwood Centre to take on old rivals and now NBL Division Two outfit Essex Leopards. The two teams have had some memorable games over the years and the Rockets quickly accepted the invite to take on the Leopards on Saturday 9th September, 7pm tip-off.
The club will be announcing their roster in due course with a couple of returning players in the mix as well as two new import players as Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés looks to put the pieces of the jigsaw together and mount a challenge with his young, new-look squad for the 2017-2018 season.
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