Tag: #game preview

Rockets in seventh heaven as they aim for top four finish in final weekend of the regular season

Reading Rockets (15-7) will be looking to secure a top four finish in NBL Division One this weekend when they travel to the north for their final regular season games as they face rivals Team Northumbria (15-7) on Saturday afternoon (4pm tip-off) before matching up against the league’s basement team Lancashire Spinners (0-22) on Sunday afternoon (3.45pm tip-off). Rockets secured their seventh victory on the spin last weekend when they defeated league leaders Team Solent Kestrels, claiming a hard fought 78-66 victory to put themselves in contention for a third place finish. If Rockets finish the season with an equal number of wins as Northumbria and Worthing, they have the head to head over Worthing, who are currently fifth placed (14-=8). The Reading team would need to beat Lancashire Spinners on Sunday should Saturday’s affair not go their way to make sure of a top four finish and a home tie in the quarter-finals of the play-offs, scheduled for Sunday 8th April.

Rockets have faced both opponents at home already this season in league play securing victories on each occasion. The Reading outfit captured an 84-72 win most recently over Team Northumbria and also comfortably beat Lancashire Spinners 107-67 back in January but face a tough final league double header this coming weekend.

Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was really pleased to see his team chalk up win number seven in a row as well as deliver a much improved performance but knows this will mean nothing should his team falter during the final weekend of the regular season. The Spanish play-caller said,

I am really happy with last weekend’s win against Solent and the players put in a much better performance than in some of our recent successes so this is very positive for us heading into this weekend’s tough double header. Defensively, we were a lot better but know that this can improve further with more work needed on offence for us to really maximise our potential.

Whilst it is a positive time for us, it is important that we now focus on our game against a very good Team Northumbria this Saturday before we look ahead to Sunday. Sports Central has always been a difficult place to get a win and none more so this weekend with third place on the line for both teams. Preparation for this game will be crucial and if we are able to keep working on being the best version of ourselves and deliver what we know we are capable of then there is no reason why we can’t secure the all important win. We know the talent Coach Mark’s (Steutel, Team Northumbria Head Coach) roster has and there is no doubt he will have them ready to play as he has done so well in past end of seasons. An exciting time and we will be ready!

Rockets go into this weekend’s crunch double header with no current injury concerns: however the Under 18 duo of Adrian Nosa Castillo and Iñigo Perez Baena both remain out of action with injury and games themselves. The Reading team could make it nine consecutive wins to finish their campaign and be a real threat in the play-offs as they look to pick up their first piece of silverware in almost four years.

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

 

Rockets looking to pick up two more wins in hunt for a top four finish

Reading Rockets (12-7) will be looking to extend their four game winning streak this weekend when they travel to the East Midlands on Saturday evening to take on Leicester Warriors (7-12) (5.30pm tip-off) before returning to Reading to host Derby Trailblazers on Sunday afternoon at Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Last weekend’s game against Kent Crusaders was pushed back 48 hours due to the severe weather but the Berkshire outfit wrapped up a hard fought 92-81 win on Monday evening to keep their hopes alive of a top four finish and home court advantage in the first round of the play-offs.

In speaking after seeing his team chalk up win number four on the spin and ahead of this weekend’s double header, Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was pleased to record another victory but knows defensively his team needs to be better this coming weekend. He said,

I thought we did very well offensively against Kent on Monday and probably could have been even better but it was defensively that we need to look at and address this week because Leicester will play a similar way on Saturday and we need to make some improvements technically and tactically. Having said that, I was pleased we were able to win the game and keep up our decent form results wise but I know we can give more and that is what we will be aiming for this week.

This weekend we play two teams that are fighting a different battle to us currently but that are both capable of upsetting the odds on the day. Leicester is a very physical, upbeat team and gave us a tough game at home, whilst Derby has a good roster and will be looking to return to winning ways. We will prepare for both teams thoroughly and make sure that we continue to work on our application leading up to and during both games.

Rockets have a few injury concerns heading into this weekend’s double header with the team’s young trio of Alex Drincic, Adrian Nosa Castillo, and Iñigo Perez Baena all doubtful. 18 year old Drincic is out of action with tendinitis in his foot and Spanish point guard Iñigo Perez Baena will miss out through a broken nose. His Spanish counterpart will be a game time decision as the 6’5 guard/forward has an ankle complaint but may be fit in time for Saturday’s tip-off at Leicester Warriors. The Berkshire outfit will also be seeing the availability of Captain Danny Carter and may need to draft in cover for the 29 year old with this being decided before Saturday.

Manuel Peña Garcés’ men won both the reverse fixtures against Leicester Warriors (75-70) and Derby Trailblazers (92-76) before the turn of the year and will be hoping they can make it six wins on the bounce this weekend as they put pressure on the top four in NBL Division One with seven games remaining.

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

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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 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