Rockets looking to pick up two more wins in hunt for a top four finish

Reading Rockets (12-7) will be looking to extend their four game winning streak this weekend when they travel to the East Midlands on Saturday evening to take on Leicester Warriors (7-12) (5.30pm tip-off) before returning to Reading to host Derby Trailblazers on Sunday afternoon at Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Last weekend’s game against Kent Crusaders was pushed back 48 hours due to the severe weather but the Berkshire outfit wrapped up a hard fought 92-81 win on Monday evening to keep their hopes alive of a top four finish and home court advantage in the first round of the play-offs.

In speaking after seeing his team chalk up win number four on the spin and ahead of this weekend’s double header, Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was pleased to record another victory but knows defensively his team needs to be better this coming weekend. He said,

I thought we did very well offensively against Kent on Monday and probably could have been even better but it was defensively that we need to look at and address this week because Leicester will play a similar way on Saturday and we need to make some improvements technically and tactically. Having said that, I was pleased we were able to win the game and keep up our decent form results wise but I know we can give more and that is what we will be aiming for this week.

This weekend we play two teams that are fighting a different battle to us currently but that are both capable of upsetting the odds on the day. Leicester is a very physical, upbeat team and gave us a tough game at home, whilst Derby has a good roster and will be looking to return to winning ways. We will prepare for both teams thoroughly and make sure that we continue to work on our application leading up to and during both games.

Rockets have a few injury concerns heading into this weekend’s double header with the team’s young trio of Alex Drincic, Adrian Nosa Castillo, and Iñigo Perez Baena all doubtful. 18 year old Drincic is out of action with tendinitis in his foot and Spanish point guard Iñigo Perez Baena will miss out through a broken nose. His Spanish counterpart will be a game time decision as the 6’5 guard/forward has an ankle complaint but may be fit in time for Saturday’s tip-off at Leicester Warriors. The Berkshire outfit will also be seeing the availability of Captain Danny Carter and may need to draft in cover for the 29 year old with this being decided before Saturday.

Manuel Peña Garcés’ men won both the reverse fixtures against Leicester Warriors (75-70) and Derby Trailblazers (92-76) before the turn of the year and will be hoping they can make it six wins on the bounce this weekend as they put pressure on the top four in NBL Division One with seven games remaining.

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