Reading Rockets (9-4) will be looking to get the new year off to a winning start this weekend when they entertain Westminster Warriors (3-10) this Sunday, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex.
The Rockets finished 2019 with defeat to rivals Hemel Storm, 91-75 but were dealt a huge blow by the loss of influential forward AJ Carr who has been ruled out for the rest of the Berkshire outfits campaign with a broken hand.
Sunday’s first match-up of 2020 will be the second meeting between the two teams this season with the Warriors winning the very first league game of the campaign by 87 points to 84 in the reverse fixture, one of only three wins in thirteen outings this season which sees the London team currently occupying eleventh position in the NBL Division One table.
Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is looking forward to getting back to action after the Christmas interlude and knows a tricky test awaits his team in their first game since the break. The Reading play-caller said,
“We are looking forward to getting back at it after a short break over the Christmas period and well earned rest after a busy first half of the season. However these breaks can often bring an element of vulnerability and that is something we will be mindful of in the lead up to this game.”
“We welcome Westminster to the Rivermead in what could be a tricky affair as they have proven to be a difficult opposition for most teams. Regardless of league positions and the win/loss columns, we know that we will have our work cut out for us Sunday especially following the loss of AJ Carr for the season.”
“However, “next man up” principle has served us well all season and I expect nothing different this coming Sunday.”
Rockets will be going into Sunday’s match-up a little thin on the ground with the loss of AJ Carr and with the academy team away in Spain on an Erasmus trip for two weeks ruling out already injured Sam Grant and David Obediah but it is thought Asher Ndah may well make the trip back to bolster the Reading roster ahead of round 14 of the campaign.
A busy month lies ahead for the Rockets with no fewer than 6 games to start off the year including a National Cup semi-final home draw to either this Sunday’s opponents, Westminster Warriors or NBL Division Two outfit Myerscough. The Berkshire team will also have home games against Thames Valley Cavaliers and Liverpool Basketball with trips to Nottingham and Loughborough filtered in as the race for the play-offs hots up.
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