Rockets to take on National Cup champions in Trophy semi-final

Reading Rockets will play for a place in the National Trophy final this weekend when they take on the new National Cup champions Loughborough Riders on Sunday afternoon in Reading. Due to venue issues, the game will have to be played at the club’s training facility, the John Madejski Academy due to Rivermead being unavailable once again (5pm tip-off). This has limited capacity so if you want to ensure of a ticket contact the Basketball Hotline today 0118 926-3040 or email tickets@readingrockets.co.uk

Rockets topped their National Trophy pool after securing wins over Thames Valley Cavaliers and Hemel Storm whilst the Riders were victorious over Leicester Warriors and Nottingham Wildcats to reach the last four. The East Midlands outfit will be buoyed by their National Cup triumph last weekend as they beat current NBL Division One league leaders Team Solent Kestrels by 82 points to 63.

Reading Head Coach Alan Keane is looking forward to this weekend’s semi-final match up but knows it will be a tough game especially with Loughborough riding the wave of their National Cup win. The Rockets play-caller said,

“Loughborough really showed their true class during Sunday’s final so they will be a tough opponent for us this weekend. I had a good chance to look at them so I am hoping with great preparation as well as committing to everything we have been doing, we can be ready to compete with them for forty minutes.

“We have been making steady progressions this season and I like where we are at right now because there is a lot more to come from the group and there really isn’t any barriers stopping us this weekend so I am really looking forward to seeing what we can do against the Riders on Sunday.”

Rockets will be looking to reach their seventh National Trophy final in their 21 year history for a chance to win a record sixth title in the prestigious competition. On the injury front, the Reading outfit go into the game with some better injury news. Irishman Ronan O’Sullivan who has been out of action with a long term wrist injury looks set to return and will provide Coach Keane with some much needed depth. Captain Danny Carter has benefited from a week off and should return to the line-up but will continue to nurse a long standing back issue. With Rockets Under 18s in action the day before, the Berkshire outfit should have a fully fit team as they pursue their first final since the 2015-2016 season.