Rockets V Kestrels | Game Preview

Reading Rockets V Team Solent Kestrels

Saturday 6th March 2021

6:00pm Tip-off

National Basketball League Division 1

Rockets are looking to bounce back from our loss to the Leicester Warriors, with a strong performance against league-leaders and undefeated Team Solent Kestrels. The game will be livestreamed on YouTube, where you will be joined by our charismatic commentary duo, Matt Johnson and Mark Halewood.

This is the opening game of the Rocket’s first double-header of the season, going up against Team Newcastle on Sunday at 3:00pm.

Rockets are scoring tremendous amounts of points in our last 5 games, averaging an incredible 95.6 points. This has been the result of terrific scoring performances from O’Showen Williams (21.8 PPG in the last 5 games), Leome Francis (17.4 PPG in the last 5 games) and new recruit Jaz Bains, who in his first 2 games for the club is averaging 17.0 points off the bench, shooting 9-16 from 3-point range. Alongside this, Coach Keane has adopted to take a fast-tempo offence, playing at lightning speed to get easy points before the defence is set, as we average 27.2 Fastbreak points over the last 5 games.

Team Solent Kestrels continue to dominate the NBL Division 1. They are still yet to be defeated in the league and are leading the division in points (99.5 PPG), rebounds (44.6 RPG), assists (25.8 APG), and steals (10.1 SPG). A key player for the Kestrels in recent games has been 6’6” forward Travis Charles. Charles has been a force to be reckoned with in recent games.  He averages 18.8 points as well as retrieving 7.6 rebounds in his last 5 games for the Kestrels. He will be looking to improve on his 9 points and 10 rebounds he achieved last time out versus the Rockets earlier in the season.

Last time we faced Solent; we were second best falling to a 101-73 defeat at the Solent Sports Complex. After a fairly even first half, with the Rockets playing some incredible and high-intensity basketball, the Kestrels showed their class to edge themselves to a 28-point victory. Orlan Jackman was Solent’s star man scoring 28 points and grabbing 12 rebounds as well as Ian Smith playing a supporting role with 19 points and supplying 9 assists.

Head coach Alan Keane is very familiar with this Solent side and is looking forward to the challenge:

“This is the first time in a strange but privileged season that we not only face a team for the second time in under a month but also a double header weekend. We are very familiar with Solent, who isn’t, they are a joy to watch each week. We know what we have to prepare for, we know their strengths and style of game well. Slowing them down and us being at our best is another thing. We feel we have grown in many areas; we know where our vulnerabilities are and anything other than our very best just won’t do against a team of Solent’s calibre. We are excited to go again.”

Key Match-Up | Williams V Smith

This game will see two of the best guards in the NBL face off again – Reading’s O’Showen Williams and Solent’s Ian Smith. Both fast guards are having terrific seasons, filling the stat sheet every week and are pivotal to their team’s success. It will certainly be entertaining to watch.