Tag: #game preview

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

Rockets look to continue good league form

Reading Rockets (5-1) will look to put the disappointment of their National Cup exit last Sunday behind them when they face another double header this weekend in NBL Division One. The Berkshire outfit will host league front-runners Loughborough Student Riders (5-1) on Saturday evening, 5pm tip-off at Bohunt School, before travelling to Barking on Sunday afternoon to face Kent Crusaders (3-4), 4pm tip-off. Rockets extended their good run in league play last Saturday when they were victorious over Derby Trailblazers, securing a 92-76 away win to move to five wins from six games and third in the league table. The Reading team were unable to make it a perfect weekend as they fell short against Team Solent Kestrels who played a great game and defeated the Rockets 89-67 to advance to the semi-finals of the National Cup.

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés had mixed emotions after last weekend’s games but knows that the journey his team is on will be a long one and with two more competitive games ahead of him and his group this weekend, he is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead. The Spaniard said,

We put in a really positive performance last Saturday against Derby and came away with a very important win but on Sunday we really did not perform and credit to Team Solent, they really exploited us and deserved to advance to the semi-finals. This is the game we must review and be better from and that is what we will do starting from our first practice of the week.

In the league, we are in a very healthy position still and have two more opportunities this weekend to compete and be better against two very good teams. Loughborough finished last season on the front foot and played some excellent basketball They have continued to do so at the start of this season and have become one of the teams to beat in this division. For us, they are coming to our home court where we have been very good so far and we are looking for a response after Sunday’s performance so I am expecting an intense battle with both teams holding a 5 and 1 record.

On Sunday we will then turn our attention to Kent Crusaders, another well coached team that has young talent ready to compete and win so we will need to be ready for this whatever the result is on Saturday. We need to continue to make sure we are taking one game at a time and learning and working for each other every time we step on the floor. It’s a time for hard work but a time to also enjoy what we are doing.

Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with some injury concerns. Point guard Scotty Hendricks injured his ankle during Saturday’s win against Derby and despite playing through Sunday’s defeat to Team Solent it will be touch and go as to whether he is fit in time for the visit of Loughborough this Saturday. His American counterpart Tim Gill has a back complaint but the Berkshire outfit are hopeful it is nothing serious and expect the 23 year old to be fit for both games this weekend. Australian Declan Soukup is expected to return to the fold after missing last weekend through illness as is Under 18 Adrian Nosa Castillo who was also out with a sickness bug.

 

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

Photos courtesy of Shaun Colley

Rockets on the road for league and cup double header

Reading Rockets (4-1) will take to the road this weekend when they firstly head to the East Midlands to take on Derby Trailblazers (2-3) in NBL Division One on Saturday evening (7.15pm tip-off) before making the short trip from Reading to Southampton to play rivals Solent Kestrels (4-2) on Sunday afternoon (3pm tip-off) in the National Cup quarter-final. Rockets bounced back from their defeat to Manchester Magic the previous weekend with an impressive 95-74 victory over Bradford Dragons last Sunday to keep up the pace at the top of NBL Division One as they face a tough double header weekend.

Saturday evening’s opponents, Derby Trailblazers narrowly lost out to Sunday’s opposition Solent Kestrels by 75 points to 73 last weekend and in all five of their NBL Division One games the win/loss gap has been no higher than 9 points. Solent Kestrels will also provide a difficult test for the Berkshire outfit having already beaten them in the National Trophy earlier this season by 93 points to 78. Both teams overcame lower division opposition on their way to the last eight of the National Cup competition with the Reading team defeating a spirited BC Medelynas London by 93 points to 77 and a convincing 124-44 win against Cardiff City whilst Sunday hosts gained comfortable wins over Barking Abbey Crusaders (102-45) and Westminster Warriors (86-67).

Rockets Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was happy to see his team bounce back from the defeat to Manchester Magic but knows this weekend’s double header will be another stern test for his side. The Reading play-caller said,

I was pleased with our performance against Bradford in many parts of the game and that enabled us to get back to winning ways. In other parts of the game it highlighted the need for us to continue to work in areas of the game we need to be better in and this is what we will continue to do this week and across the season. Our focus remains at the defensive end and making sure we are not allowing teams to get comfortable playing against us.

This weekend will be another great test for us. Derby is always a tough place to go and although they are still building for their season they pose some threats we must negate if we are to go there and win. I like what Coach Matt (Shaw, Derby Trailblazers Head Coach) has done over the years with his teams and we will be working hard to better ourselves to give us a chance to perform well against a good, organised unit.

After Saturday’s game is when we will then turn our attention to Sunday’s knockout game against Solent. For us, they have been a tricky team to play against but the experience we do have is one of learning and how we must be better against a strong group who have started the season very well. We know the areas we want to focus on for this game so when we have navigated this week and Saturday’s game, I feel we will be ready for a tough battle!

Rockets go into this weekend’s league and cup double header with no new injury concerns with Coach Manuel Peña Garcés having a full roster to select from including Under 18 duo Iñigo Perez Baena and Adrian Nosa Castillo who missed last Sunday’s win over Bradford Dragons due to an Under 18 game. Division Four regular Charles Acquah-Davis has been a part of the roster in the previous few weeks as cover but looks set to retain his place in Reading’s top team as they look to remain in the top four of NBL Division One and reach the final four of the National Cup.

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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