Reading Rockets (11-3) will be looking to extend their ten game winning streak to eleven this weekend when they entertain the leagues basement team Westminster Warriors (0-14) at Rivermead Leisure Complex on Saturday evening, 6pm tip-off. Rockets chalked up win number ten on the spin with an 89-74 victory over Essex Leopards thanks largely to Chris Hooper’s 40 points, 23 rebounds double double. The Berkshire outfit has moved up to second place in the NBL Division One table along side Manchester Magic (11-3) and are hoping to keep the pressure on league leaders Team Northumbria (13-3) with a win this weekend against a so far winless Westminster Warriors.
Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was pleased to see his team overcome a difficult test against Essex Leopards and despite this Saturday’s opponents having not recorded a win yet, the Spanish play-caller is airing on the side of caution as the Berkshire outfit has had some difficult games with the Warriors over recent years. He said,
“Last Sunday’s win over Essex was an important one for us, I think they are a really dangerous team and without Mike Martin it was difficult to know how they were going to play but credit to the team, despite an early deficit, they worked really hard together to get another important win.”
“Chris Hooper’s performance was outstanding but all of the players are doing what we need them to do at the moment and I think that has been key to the run we are on. It is really important that in this time there is no complacency but plenty of humility and we keep working hard to get better every time we step onto the floor.”
“This weekend’s game against Westminster is a tricky one I think. In previous seasons we have always found them difficult to overcome. A team is always the most dangerous when they are really fighting against the odds so it’s crucial to respect and prepare as we do every game and work hard to get what we feel should be another win.”
Rockets go into Saturday’s game with the news that shooting guard Joel Keeble requires surgery on a fractured wrist. The 21 year old Brit has been out of action for three weeks and will miss a similar amount of time after his operation on Tuesday. Chris Hooper showed no ill effects of his recent back injury with a mammoth double double and despite his American counterpart being laid up in bed this week through illness, point guard Craig Ponder played a crucial part in last Sunday’s win and should be fully fit for the visit of Westminster. Rockets is still looking at a possible signing before the deadline passes on Tuesday 31st January and will be aiming to capture win number eleven in a row as the race for the NBL Division One title hots up.
To keep up to date with all the latest news and information including any potential signings, visit www.readingrockets.co.uk and visit the clubs twitter page @rocketsreading.
Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040