Reading Rockets (8-4) will look to continue their unbeaten start to 2019 when they travel to the East Midlands on Saturday evening to take on the Derby Trailblazers (7-6) (7.15pm tip-off) before entertaining second-placed Worthing Thunder (10-3) on Sunday afternoon at Rivermead Leisure Complex (5pm tip-off).
Rockets were victorious in their first outing of the New Year as they recorded a hard fought, coming from behind, win over basement team Manchester Magic 98-87. The Berkshire outfit will play both opponents for the second time in regular season play however were on the wrong side of both scorelines in previous encounters as the Trailblazers took an invaluable 94-84 win away from Reading at the beginning of October whilst the Thunder recorded an 86-79 victory on the south coast the following week as the Reading team started their NBL Division One campaign 0-2.
Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to get back to winning ways after the turn of the year but knows how important it is to now focus on this weekend’s two match-ups. He said,
“Travelling to Derby is always tough. They are a very talented team with a lot of scoring power especially inside from Malcolm Smith. Double header weekends have been difficult for us as we are a very young team with many junior players. However we are growing week to week. Therefore this double header weekend will be another great opportunity to continue the growing process. Worthing come to us Sunday in flying form and a lot of veteran players, with any one of them capable to score 30 points. We will have a great week of preparation and look forward to the challenge that lies ahead.”
Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with the knowledge they have also qualified for the semi-finals of the National Trophy thanks to Hemel Storm overcoming Essex Leopards last Sunday. The Berkshire club have also won eight out of the last ten Division One games and will be keen to make a statement this weekend against two play-off contenders.
Captain Danny Carter remains the only injury concern for the Reading team with his on-going back issues and is listed as day to day by the Rockets physiotherapy team. 16 year old Academy star Sam Grant made a huge impact in last Saturday’s win away at Manchester and Coach Keane will look to his academy players once more as the Berkshire outfit look to continue their surge up the Division One table.