Rockets looking to bounce back after first defeat of the regular season

Reading Rockets (3-1) will be looking to return to winning ways this weekend when they host Bradford Dragons (2-1) on Sunday afternoon returning to their home venue, Rivermead Leisure Complex (5pm tip-off). Rockets lost out for the first time during this campaign as they were defeated by rivals Manchester Magic (3-1) by 93 points to 88 last Saturday evening to leave themselves as one of seven teams with a single loss in the first five weeks of the league season. Sunday’s opponents also have one loss to their name having been defeated by the leagues new-boys Kent Crusaders by 82 points to 76, but the West Yorkshire outfit has picked up wins against Loughborough Student Riders (80-77) and most recently Leicester Warriors (104-70) to keep them in the mix early on in the 2017-18 season.

In speaking ahead of his teams game against Bradford Dragons as well as reflecting on last Saturday’s defeat to Manchester Magic, Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés remained in a positive mood but knows there is a lot of work for his team to do, especially at the defensive end of the floor. The Reading play-caller said,

Whilst there were a lot of positives to take from Saturday’s game against Manchester, our focus needs to be on two key areas; firstly, missing 14 free throws is unacceptable for us so we have to be better in this area, and secondly, we cannot give up the number of points we are if we are to consistently win games, so work on the defence end is going to be really important and where are focus needs to be. We will undoubtedly improve but as a reflection for this game, these are the specific areas we need to work on moving forward.”

This weekend we take on Bradford who are always tough to play against. Year in year out Coach Chris (Mellor, Bradford Dragons Head Coach) does a great job in maximising the talent he has on the floor and gets his team to be competitive and difficult to beat and we know this season will be no different. They have good, young talent at multiple spots and will definitely be a handful but this is a perfect opportunity for us to take the next step and show an improved performance against one of the more established teams in the division.

Rockets will go into Sunday’s match-up with Bradford having split games with their visitors last season. The Berkshire outfit were defeated away from home last year 102-96 before winning their home fixture 108-85. The Reading team also has no current injury concerns and will be hoping that captain Danny Carter will get another full week of training under his belt as he returns to match fitness. The Berkshire side will also welcome back Under 19 forward Alex Drincic and Under 18 duo Adrian Nosa Castillo and Iñigo Perez Baena as they look to make it three wins out of four and continue to start the season in good form.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk