Rockets face tough trip to the North West

Reading Rockets (3-0) will take their unbeaten start to the NBL Division One campaign to the north west on Saturday evening (6.30pm tip-off) when rivals Manchester Magic (2-1) will play hosts to the Berkshire outfit in both teams fourth game of the regular season. Rockets have started their league campaign in steady fashion picking up wins against Team Newcastle, Hemel Storm, and most recently Worthing Thunder when they ran out winners by 92 points to 83. Saturday’s home team has recorded wins over Kent Crusaders and Leicester Warriors but suffered their first defeat at the hands of Solent Kestrels two weeks ago, going down 91-82 in Southampton.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was pleased his team recorded another league win despite a huge final quarter by visitors Worthing Thunder on Saturday evening but believes his team bounced back in style the following day against Cardiff City when they won 124-44 in the fourth round of the National Cup and have learnt from both games heading into Saturday’s early crucial match-up against Manchester Magic. The Spaniard said,

We played an excellent three quarters against Worthing and then seemed to struggle in the fourth quarter, one which we have already reviewed and moved forward from as conceding 40 points in one quarter at any level is unacceptable. I was pleased we won the game and then responded the following day in the National Cup. Now we must transfer the good things we are doing into Saturday’s game against Manchester and prepare thoroughly for a tough game.

Manchester has done a great job over the past few years. They remain the team to beat in my opinion because of their history in this league and also the talented roster and coaching staff they have. They possess talent at each spot and Coach Paul (Middleton) has done a great job with his teams in getting them to maximise this. We expect a very tough game but it’s one we feel that has come at a good time as it will be a test for both organisations to see where they are at at this point in season and hopefully another great advert for NBL Division One basketball.

Rockets go into Saturday’s game with positive news from last weekend. After four weeks on the sideline, Captain Danny Carter made his return to action and came through the double header weekend with no immediate issues with the hip/groin injury that had kept him out of action. New-boy Edd Potter continued to impress after making the step-up from Division Four whilst the Berkshire outfit has also added Brunel University’s Charles Acquah-Davis to beef up the roster, especially with the absence of Under 18s Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo as well as Under 19 Alex Drincic who will all be absent from this weekend’s trip to Manchester as along with Assistant Coach Alan Keane, they will be finishing their Erasmus tour of Spain the following day.

Having lost by only four points on their last visit to the Amaechi Basketball Centre, the Berkshire outfit will be looking to keep their unbeaten start alive after their opening four games in NBL Division One. Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk