Tag: #game preview

Rockets look for fifth place in final game

Reading Rockets (13-12) will be looking to finish in fifth position in the NBL Division One table this weekend but to do that they must beat already-relegated Manchester Magic (2-23) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex and hope Derby Trailblazers (14-11) lose to Hemel Storm the night before. If the two teams finish with the same record then the Rockets will take the higher seeded position thanks to beating the Trailblazers by more than they lost to them in league play. The Reading outfit lost the opening encounter 84-94 but secured an 87-74 away win meaning they would have the head to head should any tie occur.

A fourth straight loss for the Berkshire outfit could see them finish as low as eighth position should Essex Leopards (12-13) and Leicester Warriors (12-13) secure final day victories with both teams having the head to head over the Rockets. The Leopards have beaten the Rockets in both league match-ups this season, whilst the Warriors have the points advantage as they cancelled out their 96-82 defeat with a resounding 89-63 last month at Rivermead. The Warriors will host third placed Loughborough Riders whilst the Leopards will welcome champions elect Solent Kestrels (21-4) to Brentwood.

After seeing his side slip to their second and third defeats in a row with losses to Loughborough Riders (81-84) and Team Newcastle (77-80) last weekend, Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane knows Sunday’s game is crucial to secure the best league position possible and take a win into the post season. The Reading play-caller said,

“Last weekend’s two defeats were big blows for us but there is no time to dwell on it, we must learn and be better and move on to this weekend’s challenge. We performed well on Saturday against Loughborough which is a big positive but it was disappointing to lose the game but then to follow it up with a poor performance and poor result was tough to take. However, the one thing this group does is come back into practice, work hard to improve, hold each other accountable, and keep working to be the best versions of themselves and that is exactly what we will do this week in preparation.”

“This team can beat anyone on it’s day and now we need to find that ingredient to do so as we head into the last couple of games; I really believe in the guys and I think if we can mould a few things this week, we can be a force to be reckoned with in the post season.”

Rockets will go into their final home game of the 2018-2019 campaign with no new injury concerns and a fully fit roster to select from. Captain Danny Carter will play his last ever league game in front of his home crowd with the 30 year old forward retiring at the end of the season. The Berkshire outfit will play their play-off quarter-final game away from home the following weekend and will know their fate at the end of Sunday’s match-up against Manchester Magic which is also expected to be a sell-out.

Rockets looking to bounce back from a high scoring defeat in their final double header of 2018-2019

Reading Rockets (13-10) will be looking to bounce back from last Sunday’s high scoring defeat at the hands of Hemel Storm (10-13) when they travel to the Midlands to take on Loughborough Riders (15-7) on Saturday evening (6pm tip-off) before returning home to host Team Newcastle (6-17) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex.

The Berkshire outfit succumbed to their tenth league defeat of the season losing 121-116 at Hemel Leisure Centre but take on two teams they have beaten in league play already this season. The Reading team beat the Riders 101-86 just before the Christmas break and defeated Sunday’s visitors 112-105 last month in Newcastle after overtime. Rockets did however lose to Loughborough in the National Trophy semi-final in January, suffering a 66-91 home defeat that day.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is looking forward to next weekend’s double header as the regular season draws to a close but knows his team will face two tough encounters ahead of them. He said,

“Coming off a very high scoring loss and heading into next weeks double header we will travel to Loughborough on Saturday feeling if we can lock into to what we plan to deliver defensively then we feel we can beat any team in this league. However it is not that simple. Loughborough who we split two games with already will be a handful to defend as they have threats in multiple positions. Sunday we welcome Newcastle to the Rivermead who are coming off a recent impressive win against Essex. The away fixture took us to overtime to get over the line against them. We are very aware of both teams strengths and weaknesses, it is a matter of us needing to execute the game plan to it’s full extent.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s final double header of the 2018-2019 season with a fully fit roster but are likely to be without the services of Captain Danny Carter for one of this weekend’s games. With the 30 year old retiring at the end of the season and managing an on going back complaint, the 6’9 forward is unable to play back to back games so Coach Keane will manage this accordingly and Carter will be a game time decision on Saturday evening. With only three games remaining, it is feasible the Berkshire outfit could finish anywhere between third and tenth in the NBL Division One table so wins this weekend will guarantee a play-off spot and boost Reading’s league position which is currently sixth.

Rockets looking to make it through upcoming Storm

Reading Rockets (13-9) will be hoping to keep their top four hopes alive this weekend when they make the short journey to Hertfordshire to take on Hemel Storm (9-12) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Sportspace. The Reading outfit split last weekend’s games as the form book was thrown out of the window as they lost to relegation threatened Barking Abbey Crusaders 95-84 in Kent before returning home to defeat top four contenders Thames Valley Cavaliers 70-67.

Sunday’s meeting will be the third of the season between the two teams with Rockets currently leading the series 2-0. The Berkshire outfit picked up National Trophy success back in October with a 117-95 victory before repeating the feat in league play, winning 97-80 the following month. This will be the first game between the two sides in Hemel this weekend which hasn’t been a happy stomping ground for the Rockets in recent years having not been victorious there since October 2016.

In speaking ahead of Sunday’s match-up with the Storm, Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased his team managed to pick up one valuable win last weekend after a tough couple of weeks but knows the upcoming test will be a tough one for the group. He said,

“Coming off a very tough stretch schedule wise which had an impact on injuries and fatigue, it will feel refreshing to have only one game next weekend. Hemel have really rejuvenated themselves with new signings and a positive run of form this side of Christmas. Having played and beaten them twice this season we are very familiar with the threat they bring across multiple positions. We will approach the game like any other, fully prepared and ready to go with a full roster.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s game with the news Captain Danny Carter should be able to return to fold after sitting out of last Sunday’s win over Thames Valley. The 30 year old forward continues to nurse his back complaint in his final competitive season but is most likely to return to action against Hemel Storm. A hip injury stunted American Trae Pemberton’s weekend last time out but should be fit in time for the trip to Hertfordshire. Coach Keane may well have a full squad to select from as the Rockets look to push on for a top four finish with five regular season games remaining.

Rockets face second double header as season ending nears

Reading Rockets (12-8) will play two more games this weekend when they travel to Kent on Saturday evening to take on Barking Abbey Crusaders (6-15) in a very late game, 8.30pm tip-off before returning to Reading to host Thames Valley Cavaliers (13-6) on Sunday evening, 6.00pm tip-off at the John Madejski Academy, Rockets training venue with their regular home court, Rivermead Leisure Complex being once again unavailable.

Rockets split last weekend’s games as they narrowly lost to joint league leaders Team Solent Kestrels by the narrowest of margins, losing 90-91 right at the death before bouncing back against Nottingham Hoods 88-76 to put themselves right in the mix for a play-off spot with six games left of the regular season.

This weekend sees the second meeting between the Berkshire outfit and Barking Abbey with the Rockets victorious in the home encounter 94-75. The Reading team has met Sunday opponents Thames Valley Cavaliers twice already this campaign securing an 83-64 away win in league play as well as an 83-68 victory in the National Trophy.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased with his teams performances this weekend but knows such a heavy schedule is a key hurdle to overcome especially at the business end of the season. The Reading play-caller said,

“Four games in eight days tells you we are right in the business end of the season. Coming off two good performances this weekend we look ahead to another double header with a positive mindset. With a full squad back for the first time since pre Christmas we are feeling like we are moving in the right direction.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s two games with no new injury concerns and Coach Keane is hopeful he will have a fully fit squad to select from. His biggest worry was whether Captain Danny Carter could play back to back games and the good news is that the 6’9 forward just has soreness from his ongoing back injury and should feature in both this weekend’s games. The team is now looking to finish as high as possible in the NBL Division One table and with six games to go it’s all to play for as the 2018-2019 season reaches it’s climax.

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

Rockets continue to push for play-off spot

Reading Rockets (11-7) will continue their push for a play-off spot this weekend when they host joint league leaders Team Solent Kestrels (14-4) on Saturday afternoon before entertaining Nottingham Hoods (9-10) on Sunday afternoon, both games tipping-off at 5pm at Reading’s home venue, Rivermead Leisure Complex.

Rockets made it back to back wins last weekend with a hard fought victory in Newcastle as they outlasted the hosts 112-105 after overtime to move to 11 wins and 7 losses. This weekend’s games see the second round of league match-ups between the teams with the Reading outfit falling away to Team Solent 75-86 back in November whilst recording victory in the East Midlands, winning 76-71 away to Nottingham before the Christmas break.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to see his team come through a tough test in Newcastle and is now looking ahead to this weekend’s match-ups against Solent and Nottingham. He said,

“Another double header brings another challenge and a hurdle we need to get over. Solent and Nottingham come to us with two different styles of play. We will be ready for both and look forward to the opportunity to give our best performance. We are coming off an important win last weekend in Newcastle but we will have to be at our best version as the league leaders Solent and Nottingham have shown they are capable to beat anyone in our league.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with potentially a fully fit squad but will have to manage their Under 18 players who also have two games. Point guard Adrian O’Sullivan looks to be nearing full fitness after an ankle injury and despite not making the trip to Newcastle, Ronan O’Sullivan has also recovered from his wrist injury. 17 year old David Chive will be available for both games this weekend with Sam Grant likely to return with his Under 18 team first before suiting up for the senior team after a four week lay-off with an ankle complaint.

The Berkshire outfit have eight regular season games to go with all to play for in one of the most competitive Division One leagues in recent years.

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