Tag: #2017-2018

Rockets look to bounce back from consecutive defeats as they take on league leaders

Reading Rockets (8-5) will be looking to bounce back from two consecutive defeats for the first time this season when they make the short journey to Southampton on Sunday afternoon (3pm tip-off) to take on current NBL Division One league leaders Team Solent Kestrels (10-3). Rockets suffered their second defeat on the spin as they lost a close encounter to Hemel Storm (8-5) last Saturday by 88 points to 81 as they dropped to sixth in the table but still amongst the chasing pack. This Sunday’s opponents snapped their six game winning streak when they lost out reigning champions Team Northumbria 65-86 last weekend but remain top of the pile and undefeated against the Rockets in the two games already this season. Kestrels were victorious in the National Trophy back in September when they took a 93-78 away win before defeating the Berkshire outfit in the National Cup, gaining an 89-67 victory to lead the series 2-0.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was not too despondent after Saturday’s loss to Hemel Storm and was pleased with an improved performance from his team but knows the tests keep coming thick and fast with more work to be done on the practice court. The Spaniard said,

We put in a better performance on Saturday and in parts of the game played some great basketball. We are really pleased with these elements and must build on this going forward. A few areas still remain a concern in terms of our fourth quarter play but I am confident we can address these quickly and take forward the very positive parts we are seeing.

This Sunday we have an opportunity to do this against one of the best teams in the league. Solent has done a really good job building a deep roster over the last two seasons and are now really competitive and currently the team to beat. They have talent and cover at every position but are not unbeatable as Northumbria showed last weekend. We will be ready to play a tough game whilst making sure our intent and communication is at its best in what will be an awesome challenge for us.

Rockets go into Sunday’s match-up with the positive news that 6’9 forward Danny Carter will be returning to the squad after a short break. The 29 year old has not featured since early November but is looking forward to being back in action after his time out. Carter will provide some much needed impetus in the front court with American Tim Gill playing extended minutes in the last few weeks. The Berkshire outfit should have a fully fit roster to choose from as Manuel Peña Garcés’ men look to break their duck against Team Solent Kestrels this term and put back to back defeats behind them as they look to keep up the pace at the right end of the NBL Division One table.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

Rockets to face National Cup finalists

Reading Rockets (8-4) will make the short journey to Hemel this Saturday when they take on the Storm (7-5) in a fourth v fifth clash in NBL Division One. Rockets split their opening two games of 2018 as they comfortably defeated Lancashire Spinners (0-12) 107-67 before suffering a surprise loss at the hands of Team Newcastle (5-10) as the north east side came away from Rivermead with a priceless 67-63 victory to put a dent in Reading’s title hopes. Saturday’s opponents Hemel Storm had a great start to the opening weekend of the year as they beat Loughborough Student Riders in the semi-final of the National Cup to secure a place in their first ever final: however the Hertfordshire team were defeated by Team Solent Kestrels in league play going down 87-86 the following day.

Rockets Assistant Coach Alan Keane was in a reflective mood after last weekend but is really looking forward to the challenge that an impressive Hemel team possess. The Irishman said,

Last weekend provided us with some much needed feedback on where we need to be better and the clarity needed in every situation. This is a work in progress and something that we will be focusing on to keep alive in all of our practices this week and moving forward. We have a great group of guys and now we must challenge ourselves to be better in every moment as well as review and reflect honestly and with intent.”

Hemel has proved to be a force to be reckoned with and they will be on a high after making it to the National Cup final. They boast a lot of individual talent on their roster and are a very difficult team to play against, especially at home but not impossible! Our job will be to have a clear and concise game plan as well as work on the attributes I have already mentioned and I think this is an ideal game for us to put this to the test.

Rockets go into this weekend’s match-up with Hemel Storm with no-one on the treatment table but the game does come too soon for 6’9 forward Danny Carter’s return; the 29 year old coming back into the fray next week. Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés should have a full squad to choose from as his team look to complete the double over their opponents for the first time in three years with the Berkshire outfit fending off a fourth quarter comeback in the first meeting between the two teams back in October as the Reading team claimed a 95-94 victory.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

Rockets take on Dragons in final game of 2017

Reading Rockets (7-2) will make the long journey north on Saturday when they take on Bradford Dragons (3-6) in their final NBL Division One game of 2017 (6.15pm tip-off). Rockets ground out a hard fought 75-70 victory over Leicester Warriors last Sunday to keep up the pace at the top of the league and will be hoping to close out the year with a positive result against an opponent they have already beaten in league play this season back in November when they recorded a 95-74 win at Rivermead Leisure Complex.

Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcès was relieved to see his team just do enough to win last Sunday’s game but also had praise for this team as they weathered the Warriors fourth quarter comeback, an area the Berkshire team have struggled with of late. The Spanish play-caller said,

I thought we played well in parts against Leicester but it was one of those games where we had to really dig deep to come out with a positive result and I felt we did that at times which is a good step for us considering the ending we have had in recent games. We need to be better with the quality we deliver and be more consistent in the way we do so and that is something that will be key for us after the Christmas break.

This weekend we make the long journey to Bradford to take on a competitive and well coached team. Chris (Mellor, Bradford Head Coach) always prepares his teams well and at home they are a real threat so we will need to be ready for the different challenge this game will pose compared to the one last month. We will be working on elements of what they will potentially do but keep the focus on ourselves and being better as we prepare for the last game of this year.

Overall I am pleased with where we are to date. We have had some ups and downs so far this year but this has provided us all with some positive learning and the necessity to keep working and building throughout the season. Our aim is to keep doing this and making sure we leave no stone unturned as we continue to apply pressure at the top of the division, a place where we would like to be at the end of this season.

Rockets go into Saturday’s match-up with Bradford with no new injury concerns but will be without duo Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo who are on Under 18 duty back home in Reading. The Bradford game is the final time the Reading team will take to the court in 2017 as their scheduled game against Team Solent Kestrels is postponed as the Southampton based side are in National Cup semi-final action.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

Rockets face Warriors in final home game of 2017

Reading Rockets (6-2) will be in action for the final time this year at home when they host Leicester Warriors (2-6) on Sunday evening at Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Rockets split last weekend’s game as they lost out to the current NBL Division One league leaders, Loughborough Student Riders by 71 points to 61 before redeeming themselves with a hard fought 83-72 win away at Kent Crusaders to keep up the heat at the top of the league going into their final two games of 2017. Sunday’s opponents Leicester Warriors have had a difficult start to their league campaign only winning two of their opening eight games but the Midlands team’s two wins have come in the last three games and they will be hoping to take a top of the table scalp as they look to continue their better form.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcès left last weekend with mixed feelings but knows his team has an opportunity to finish the year strong before the Christmas break and can use this period to improve on things and prepare thoroughly for their next two encounters. The Spanish play-caller said,

We played three really good quarters against Loughborough on Saturday but had another poor fourth quarter so that is a concern we will take forward and work on as it cost us the game and nearly affected the outcome on Sunday too. That said, we are playing better basketball and being much more competitive but now we need to make sure we remain focused and disciplined in the key moments, something we will address as a group this week.

This weekend’s game against Leicester will be a tricky one, as despite their league position, they are always difficult to play against because of their physicality and commitment to playing. We will need to do a good job in making sure we are prepared for their individual players and tendencies but the focus will be on ourselves to take another step in the right direction and be ready in more moments as well as being better in the difficult ones.

Rockets go into Sunday’s game against Leicester with no new injury concerns with Americans Scotty Hendricks and Tim Gill recovering from their respective injuries to make it through last weekend’s match-ups. The Berkshire club will be hoping to keep up their impressive record against Sunday’s visitors having beaten their opponents in the last 11 league outings going back to the beginning of 2012 with a win for the Reading team a must if they are to keep up the pace at the top of NBL Division One.

Prior to the game, the Rockets Division One Women will be in action at 2.30pm as they host Team Solent Kestrels, also at Rivermead Leisure Complex. The Rockets Women are currently 3 and 2 in league play and Coach David Sanchez will be hoping his team can put their cup exit to Ipswich behind them and bounce back with a win against one of the league’s most established teams but who are in a bit of trouble near the bottom of the table with only two wins from their first eight outings.

Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk