Rockets looking to bounce back against Thunder

Reading Rockets (0-1) will be looking to record their first win of the campaign when they travel to the south coast on Saturday evening (7.30pm tip-off) to take on Worthing Thunder (0-1) in their second National Trophy game of the season. The Reading team had a bizarre start to the year as they were unable to play their first official game away at Kent Crusaders due to no officials arriving for the game and therefore the outcome of this match-up will be decided by governing body Basketball England. Rockets returned to Reading and faced Team Solent Kestrels (2-0) the following day and lost out to their rivals and play-off conquerers of last term by 93 points to 78, their first opening day defeat for four seasons. Team Solent Kestrels look all but certain to have secured a place in the quarter-final stage after beating Worthing Thunder in their opening game 107-85 meaning Saturday’s match-up will see one team take their first win of 2017-18.

In speaking after his teams opening day defeat and looking ahead to Saturday’s encounter with Worthing Thunder, Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was naturally disappointed with last weekend’s results but knows it is very early in the season and his new look team needs some time to gel. He said,

It was a really difficult opening game for us and highlighted early on some key areas we need to be better in but we know Solent is a very good team and it is still very early on in the season so we are not panicking. I don’t think the previous days events at Kent affected us as frustrating as it was but I think the more games we play the better at this stage of the season as we look to bring the group together and playing a good level of basketball. The biggest concern on Sunday was defensively as we gave up 93 points, too high for us and something we will analyse and work on this week and in the coming weeks.

We travel to Worthing this weekend who have made a great signing in Zaire Taylor in the off-season and we know they can score very heavily so it is an interesting next game to have as it will test our resilience as well as the areas we have been focusing on. I am confident my team can produce a better performance and in turn win the game but we are still building and the most important aspect at this stage of the season is to put in a good performance and always reflect on what we could do better.

Rockets go into Saturday’s game with a fully fit squad with six players making their away debut for the Berkshire outfit. Tim Gill, Scotty Hendricks, Sydney Donaldson, Jonny Foulds, Declan Soukup, and Simas Rauyps will all be in action for the Reading team as Captain Danny Carter celebrates his 29th birthday. Under 18s Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo will also make the trip to the south coast as the Rockets look to get off the mark and keep up the hunt for a National Trophy quarter-final spot – a trophy their have collected seven times in their history.