Tag: #2019-2020

Rockets looking to make it three in a row with visit of Nottingham

Reading Rockets (2-1) will be looking to make it three wins on the spin this Sunday when they welcome Nottingham Hoods (0-3) to Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Rockets were victorious for the second time in a week after ending Loughborough Riders’ (2-1) 100% start to their NBL Division One campaign, winning by 93 points to 70. Sunday’s visitors to Reading, Nottingham Hoods, are currently yet to record a win this term but have already played three of the top five teams losing by only narrow margins.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to see his team chalk up win number two but feels his team can offer more in certain aspects of the game. The Irishman said,

“I was really pleased with many parts from last weekend including our opening quarter when we really committed to what we had agreed prior to the game. But what concerned me was our performance in the second quarter which was almost the opposite to how we had started so that is something for us to look at and address. Overall, it was a good performance for us against one of the leagues most consistent performers in the last three years.”

“This weekend we welcome Nottingham to Reading and although they are yet to win, they are one of the toughest teams in the division. Last season we had two really good battles with them and their youth and experience really make them a threat in our league.”

“We will continue with our development and preparations this week and look to build on the two acceptable performances we have delivered so far this season. What is great for us is we will be back in front of our home fans who were awesome in our first home game of the season last weekend.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s contest with Nottingham Hoods with a fully fit squad to select from after David Chive made his return to the team following a two week absence. All 12 of Coach Keane’s group saw some playing time last weekend with big performances from American duo Nick Richards and AJ Carr as the pair combined for 56 points in their teams 23 point victory. The Berkshire outfit is yet to lose to this weekend’s opponents having beaten them twice last season, most recently in March when they recorded an 88-76 victory.

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

Match Report – Rockets v Riders



Reading Rockets93Win
Loughborough Student Riders70Loss

A packed Rivermead were witnesses to a great game as Rockets ignited in the first quarter, petered out a little in the second and then roared away on fire in the third and fourth periods to take a key win early in the season. Riders defeated Rockets twice last season , once in the Play-offs so this was a good barometer for Head Coach Alan Keane as Rockets took Riders unbeaten early season record with a purposeful offensive play before the interval coupled to an upbeat defensive team play from the interval onwards.

A J Carr was prominent on his return to Rivermead as he amassed 14 points in the opening quarter including a brace of trebles as Rockets took the period 30-21. Captain Ed Potter led by example taking down 4 rebounds and Rockets hit their highest points total of an opening quarter giving encouragement to the most appreciative crowd.

Back to back trebles from Riders quickly cut the deficit but a big defensive rebound by A J followed by a fade away score saw Rockets ahead 36-29. Another long Riders treble got the benefit of the roll of the ring and despite a long Nick Richards finish and a Potter inside score the game was tied on 40 each. Riders had controlled the boards in this period by 16-8 compared to Rockets dominance of them 14-8 in he first period. Riders then hit the last points to leave Rockets trailing 42-40 having lost the quarter 10-21.

Head Coach Alan Keane had now clearly seen the task ahead and made most effective use of the 15 minute interval to fire up his Rockets again. A Richards drive and Matias Boho dish to A J for a treble saw the game tied twice in a few minutes on 45 and 48 . A J hit another wide treble and Richards took down a key defensive rebound, was fouled and hit both penalty scores keeping Rockets on fire and energised. As both teams fought for control of the game, it was Rockets who took control with a 17-9 run which included an A J dish to Boho to stroke a treble quickly followed by a Sam Grant assist to A J to hit his 4 from 5 trebles. As David Chive gave Richards a superb assist and another Academy product Grant finished the period with a tip in Rockets enjoyed a 65-57 lead as the final stanza beckoned.

A 28-13 final quarter was the highlight of the excellent game as Pau Major scored off an offensive rebound to open his home venue Rockets account whilst A J spun to score. Richards starred in this period as he scored 11 personal points, made a steal, took a charge and took down 3 more rebounds firing Rockets to a storming quarter. Sam Grant had his most impressive performance of the season to date as he spun to score and then hit a trademark treble to have a season high 12 points complemented with 4 rebounds. Coach Keane was pleased with his senior players and keen to give his 5 academy students more court time that he brought them off court to a tumultuous reception from the appreciative crowd. This had been an excellent team performance so early in the season with encouraging signs for the long season ahead, recognising that this is a most competitive league with 4 different winners of the 4 trophies last season. It was so appropriate that one of Rockets exciting academy players, Ross Stepney hit Rockets last points as they took a well-deserved victory by 93-70.

Nick Richards was the first recipient of the Nando’s Player of the Game , a great start to his Rockets career as he also top scored with 30 pts; took down 8 rebounds. made 3 steals and a pair of assists. A J Carr hit 26 pts; took down 4 rebounds, made 3 steals and 3 assists with Sam Grant hitting 12 pts and taking down 4 rebounds though this was very much a whole team performance.


Date Time League Season
13/10/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Rockets begin home campaign with visit of Riders

Reading Rockets (1-1) will begin their NBL Division One home campaign this Sunday afternoon when they entertain Loughborough Riders (2-0) at Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Rockets recorded their first win of the regular season last weekend as they came from behind to beat one of this years play-off contenders Thames Valley Cavaliers by 108 points to 93. Sunday’s visitors to Reading, Loughborough Riders began their season last weekend recording two wins beating Essex and Herts Leopards 94-66 before beating Nottingham Hoods 81-71 the following day to remain one of five teams with a 100% record in the division.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to see his team record their first victory of the season but it’s already preparing for a tough test this weekend at home to Loughborough Riders. The Reading play-caller said,

“I am really pleased with last weekend’s victory over Thames Valley Cavaliers who provided us with a lot of problems to solve and what was positive for us was we were able to find those answers based on the commitment we showed and being relentless against a tough opponent.”

“Having AJ Carr back with us made a difference but what pleased me the most was the group remained disciplined and to task throughout the forty minutes despite some defensive lapses which we will address this week.”

“On Sunday we welcome Loughborough to Reading and this promises to be another tough test. Coach Jarram has done an excellent job in his time there but early season games are always difficult to prepare for as opposition trends haven’t emerged. However we do know Loughborough who are 2-0, will have built confidence off of that start. Their strength lays in their depth of talent and every player off their bench is capable to have a huge impact on the game. We are really looking forward to this encounter and can’t wait to be in front of our home fans for the first time this season.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s clash with no new injury concerns but will be hoping that 18 year-old David Chive is fit to return to action after missing the Berkshire outfits opening two games. The 6 foot point guard has been promoted to the first team this season alongside Sam Grant but has yet to feature for Coach Keane’s side this term.

The last time the two teams met was in the 2018-2019 play-off quarter finals when third seed Loughborough overcame the sixth seed Reading winning 83-63 to end the Rockets’ season. Coach Keane will be going up against his Assistant Coach for the Great Britain Under 18 Men for the first time this season as both teams look to keep up the base in the top half 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.

Match Report – Thames Valley Cavaliers v Reading Rockets



Thames Valley Cavaliers95Loss
Reading Rockets108Win

Having suffered a disappointing loss last weekend in their opening away league game with a depleted team, a vibrant and resourceful Rockets stepped up in a big way to take the scalp of Cavaliers, one of the teams expected to be vying for honours this season.

American guard Nick Richards went out of the trap like a greyhound as he stole Cavaliers’ first possession to score before the returning A J Carr hit his initial points of the new season having just arrived after visa delays. Cavaliers stroked the first of their 2 trebles but a Richards slam and Carr pull up shot kept Rockets ahead. Australian Ben Dixon then scored with a reverse lay-up immediately followed with a superb treble off a Pau Mayor cross court dish. However the talented Cavaliers, who had height advantage with 5 guys 6’7” and above, went on a 17- 4 run to lead 26-17 causing Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane to call a time out . Ed Potter strode onto court and does what he does best, disrupts Cavaliers plays and fights tenaciously for the ball as he scored four quick points and disturbed Cavaliers though they still took the period 32-26.

Mayor gave another assist to Liam Davis to have Rockets score first and though Davis and Potter added to Rockets’ tally early in the second quarter, another treble from Cavaliers saw Rockets deficit now seven points. Just midway through the period Rockets found themselves 32-45 adrift. Matias Boho joined Richards and Davis in now helping Rockets offensively whilst Potter was prominent in defensive mode. Richards drove and strode, Boho glided to score, Davis played hard inside to convert opportunities whilst Dixon sent an exquisite bounce pass and drove to score as Potter took a charge. Rockets had truly ignited and went to the interval just a single point behind at 51-52 as they had gone on a 19-7 run

The impetus stayed with Rockets as they tore into Cavaliers with another 18- 8 run to lead 69-60 thanks to more from Richards and Davis and more importantly a brace of downtown trebles from A J Carr…a pleasing return to court in a Rockets vest as he settled again into the English game and recovered from his jet lag having only arrived 48 hours before. Sam Grant hit a treble but Cavaliers didn’t want to taste defeat on their own court and with a 12-5 run including a buzzer beating score had cut the deficit to 74-72 in Rockets favour.

Despite Richards scoring off the glass with the opening score of the final quarter Cavaliers edged ahead with five unanswered points but Boho drove, scored, drew the foul and hit the penalty shot only for Potter to copy that moments late and see Rockets 82-77 ahead. Davis was called for his fifth and excluding foul but Carr and Boho saw Rockets maintain a four point lead with just over four minutes remaining. A brilliant Dixon steal and four consecutive Carr points saw Rockets enjoy an eight point advantage at 96-88 .

The appreciative spectators from both teams were loud and expressive as both teams fought for the victory. Dixon’s floor hustle roused Rockets and great vision from Carr as he inbounded at the defensive end of the court and threw an arrow pass to Richards the length of the court which saw Richards score, draw the foul and sink the penalty shot to ease Rockets to a comfortable lead at 103-92. Richards then hit all four free throws as he was fouled and Boho finished Rockets scoring as they took a key win 108-93. They had turned a 13 point deficit inside the first 15 minutes into a 15 point victory through improved defence in the second half, better rebounding and gelling as a team throughout the game.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 25 points, A J Carr and Matias Boho with 20 point each, Liam Davis with 18 points and Ben Dixon and Ed Potter also with 11 points apiece.

Rockets now look forward to a pair of home consecutive games


Date Time League Season
05/10/2019 18:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


Uxbridge College
Uxbridge College, Uxbridge UB8 1NX, UK

Rockets looking to bounce back from opening day defeat

Reading Rockets (0-1) will be looking to make amends for their narrow defeat on the first day of the regular season when they make the short journey to Uxbridge on Saturday afternoon to take on Thames Valley Cavaliers (1-0) in their second NBL Division One game. Rockets lost out to Westminster Warriors in a close, hard fought battle last weekend going down 87-84 whilst this weekend’s opponents secured an 82-78 victory over Bradford Dragons behind 29 points from Martelle McLemore.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was naturally disappointed to see his team defeated in their opening NBL Division One game but feels a lot will be learnt by his young squad ahead of this weekend’s trip to Thames Valley Cavaliers. The Irishman said,

“Last weekend’s performance was not the way we wanted to start the season but it has given us a great amount of learning ahead of this weekend’s game at Thames Valley. Westminster showed their experience and competitiveness and with our behaviours not aligned with where we wanted them to be, we unfortunately suffered what some might say as an unexpected defeat.”

“We will learn and move on from this and with having a young, enthusiastic group it will be relatively straightforward for us to re-align but we must make sure we do this with energy and discipline to give a true reflection of ourselves.”

“We are looking forward to this Saturday’s game against one of the leading teams in the division and it will be a really good test for us after last weekend’s disappointment.”

Rockets go in to Saturday’s match-up with no injury concerns but should have David Chive and Sam Grant back in action after both missed out on last weekend’s loss to Westminster Warriors. New signing AJ Carr is due to meet up with with his teammates this week and should be available for Coach Alan Keane this weekend after receiving his visa over the weekend. A big boost for the Berkshire outfit as they look to chalk up their first win of the campaign away to a team they hd three successes against last season.

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