Tag: #letsgorockets

Rockets face final double header of 2019

Reading Rockets (8-3) will have one of their toughest weekend’s of the season coming up when they travel to the South coast on Saturday evening to take on second placed Worthing Thunder (9-2) in NBL Division One (7.30pm tip-off) before making the short journey to Oaklands the following day to face Essex and Herts Leopards in the National Cup quarter-finals (3.30pm tip-off).

Rockets got back to winning ways last weekend when they defeated Bradford Dragons 78-75 at the John Madejski Academy and are now in joint third position in the NBL Division One table alongside Thames Valley Cavaliers and Hemel Storm. This Saturday’s match-up against the Thunder will be the first encounter of the season between the two teams whilst Sunday’s cup clash against the Leopards will be the third time the two teams have met already this season. Rockets have won both encounters to date; a pre-season victory by 97 points to 74 followed by an away win in league play last month, recording an 81-67 success for Alan Keane’s men.

The Rockets Head Coach was pleased to see his team get back to winning ways last Sunday but Coach Keane knows this weekend is a big one for his group. The Irishman said,

“Although it’s another double header for us, we are excited to be playing in these type of games, especially a cup quarter final but before we put our minds to that game we face a tough Worthing opponent. They are a very guard orientated team who are putting up big numbers in the league so we will really need to bring to life the scouting report and be at our best defensively to stem the flow.”

“Sunday brings a different challenge in Essex who are an ever-improving team and were very unlucky not to beat Nottingham on the weekend losing the game in the last couple of minutes. The difference with this game is that it is a cup game, winner takes all, so we will need to be as prepared for this match-up but only after we have navigated the test against Worthing.”

“A great weekend to be a part of and hopefully we will have a near to fully fit roster.”

Rockets go into their final double header of 2019 with a few injury concerns, something they have been all to familiar with during the last four games. Spaniard Pau Mayor was missing again last weekend with a thigh injury and it is unknown if he will be able to return to action for the two upcoming games. David Chive missed last weekend’s victory over Bradford Dragons and will be out of action until the new year for personal reasons. American AJ Carr sat out all of last week’s practice with the flu but did return for last weekend’s victory and should be fully recovered in time for the Reading outfit’s two trips.

With three games to go of 2019, Rockets have a chance to reach the National Cup semi-finals as well as reclaiming second place in the NBL Division One table with three wins as Coach Keane’s group look to finish the year in style.

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

Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons



Reading Rockets78Win
Bradford Dragons75Loss

With injury and sickness having depleted Coach Keane’s squad and interfered with his game preparation, he had no hesitation in promoting 18yo Asher Ndah to the starting five. The John Madejski Academy student showed not only his talent but also his invaluable worth to Rockets at this top level as he blitzed the opening quarter with ten personal point but also stroked a key buzzer beating treble getting Rockets to within a single point of their visitors at the interval.

In fact the first score of the game was a treble from Ndah and though the mercurial Nick Richards spun to extend Rockets early advantage, a 6-0 Bradford Dragons run caused Coach Keane to call a time-out. Liam Davis hit a jump shot and then a long two but Dragons shooting guard David Walsh was on electric form hitting three trebles in the opening period as he also took the last shot to give the visitors a 27-20 lead at the first break.

Guard Ben Dixon took his usual charge, a characteristic of the Aussie and then he drove, drew the foul and made a crucial three point play and cause Dragons Head Coach Chris Mellor to take a time-out. Another pair of trebles from the Dragons guard Walsh was matched with fast breaks and steals from Rockets which they converted into points to reduce the deficit. A Davis block lit up the court and a Richards electrically fast back track stopped a certain Dragons score. A brace of free throws from Carr brought Rockets to within three points before another Dragons treble. However the tempo had now increased markedly by the hosts and with Carr scoring off an offensive rebound and receiving an assist from Richards to add to his score, it was just left to the young Ndah to stroke the buzzer beating treble seeing the home team behind by just 45-46 at the interval.

As the third quarter started Dragons Walsh had scored 22 of their 46 points so was clearly a target for Rockets better defence….and how well they stopped him throughout the remainder of the game as Walsh didn’t add to his personal score. Davis and Richards gave Rockets the lead at the start of the period and then a Richards steal and finger roll coupled to a Dixon drive and a Davis pull up jump shot saw Rockets 55-50 up. Ndah and Dixon double teamed Dragons to cause the visitors to turn the ball over much to the delight of the appreciative crowd and then Matias Boho hit a wide treble to increase Rockets lead midway through the quarter having also kept Dragons to just four points in that time. Carr needed a further rest having been winded in one collision , and he didn’t have much wind at the start of the game !!.Captain Potter came in for a three point play but five unanswered points including a buzzer beating Dragons treble meant Rockets lead was just 63-61 as the final quarter beckoned.


Date Time League Season
08/12/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


John Madejski Academy
112-118 Hartland Rd, Reading, Reading RG2, UK

Rockets looking to continue good form with the visit of Derby Trailblazers

Reading Rockets (7-2) will be looking to keep up their excellent form this weekend as they welcome Derby Trailblazers (5-4) to Reading on Sunday afternoon (5pm tip-off), finally returning to their regular home venue of Rivermead Leisure Complex. Rockets secured a pair of wins last weekend grinding out an 81-67 away win at basement outfit Essex and Herts Leopards (0-9) before advancing to the National Cup quarter-finals with the narrowest of victories in Nottingham, beating the Hoods 78-77 to make it nine wins out of ten in all competitions.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was a happy man after last weekend’s double success but will be hoping his team recover in time for this Sunday’s clash against Derby when they entertain the East Midlands side back in front of their home crowd, something the Irishman is looking forward to. He said,

“Coming off a double header weekend away and three games on the bounce away from the Rivermead, it will be really exciting to get back to playing in front of our home fan base. Derby, another potential top four team in the league will bring different challenges. A team very well coached team who compete as tough as any team in the league. They are capable to score in a variety of ways but obviously Malcolm Smith will need a lot of attention from us. A tough run of league games coming our way and Derby presents as big as challenge as any.”

The Berkshire outfit go into Sunday’s match-up with a number of injury and illness concerns. British guard Ed Potter missed Sunday’s National Cup win against Nottingham with a suspected broken finger and the Reading team won’t know if he will be able to play this weekend until just before the game. Young British point guard David Chive missed both last weekend’s games through illness but the Rockets are hoping the 18 year old makes a full recovery before this weekend’s top of the table clash. Spanish guard Pau Mayor was also out of action last Sunday with a dead leg after featuring heavily during Saturday’s victory over Essex and Herts Leopards. The 23 year old has been receiving treatment on his thigh complaint and will also be a game time decision alongside Ed Potter. Finally, academy player and GB Under 18 Sam Grant also missed last weekend’s double triumph with an ongoing back injury and knee complaint he sustained in an EABL game against Barking Abbey but it is unsure if he will be back to feature this weekend.

With Coach Keane sweating on the fitness of a number of players you can keep up to date with all the latest news and information by following the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040

Rockets looking to bounce back from defeat to league leaders

Reading Rockets’ (6-2) six game winning streak came to an end last weekend when they were defeated by current league leaders and reigning NBL Division One champions Solent Kestrels (8-0) by 106 points to 89 but remain in the top three in the division.

The Berkshire outfit will look to return to winning ways this weekend when they take on the leagues basement team Essex and Herts Leopards (0-8) on Saturday evening, 5.45pm tip-off at Oaklands College before travelling to the East Midlands to take on fellow NBL Division One outfit Nottingham Hoods (1-7) in the fourth round of the National Cup on Sunday.

Saturday’s encounter against the Leopards will be the first official game between the two teams this term with a pre-season friendly match-up ending in a Rockets home victory 97-74. The Reading team have already faced Sunday’s National Cup opponents after defeating Nottingham at home 98-85 last month in league play.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane has reflected on Saturday’s loss to Solent but is looking forward to getting back to action this weekend against two teams who’s results don’t reflect the dangers they both pose in his opinion. The Irishman said,

“This weekend we face a vastly improved team in Essex who have had a tough set of results so far but traditionally have started games really well so we need to be wary of this. Their record doesn’t reflect their positive performances and they have a lot of talent on their roster so we will prepare for them like any other team whilst keeping the majority of the focus on ourselves and being the best we can be.”

“Sunday brings a different challenge against a team we have already faced this season in Nottingham who have so far not got the results they probably deserve so again it’s only a matter of time before things start to click for them. We will need to respect them as we would any other team in the league and they have a strong inside presence as well as a lot of firepower from different positions so this will be a heavily focused defensive game for us.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with no new injury concerns and with two games upcoming, Coach Keane will be needing to use his roster with eighty minutes of basketball to play in 24 hours. The Berkshire outfit went out at the fourth round stage of the National Cup last season when they were beaten 76-60 by Manchester Magic so the Reading team will be hoping to put those woes behind them and return to winning ways in the league with an opportunity to record win number nine in ten games post this Sunday.

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

Match Report – Team Solent Kestrels v Reading Rockets



Team Solent Kestrels104Win
Reading Rockets91Loss

Rockets travelled south to try and take Solent’s very impressive winning streak on their home court where they haven’t lost since January 2018 with a 24 game unbeaten run, coupled to a 19 game unbeaten run in all competitions. Rockets had got close to them at the end of last season with a single point defeat 90-91 and with both teams in great form, a titanic battle was guaranteed.

Rockets were on a 6-0 league winning run and Solent 7-0. Rockets won the tip off and Liam Davis scored their first points quickly answered by Solent’s first score but 9 quick points from Nick Richards and A J Carr saw Rockets enjoy a 13-4 lead. Solent responded with a 14-1 run and it was ‘game on’ . A further brace of trebles from Carr and a crucial block kept Rockets within 2 points of their opposition but a big Solent treble in the last 30 seconds saw the hosts go into the first break with a 28-21 advantage.

Carr again got Rockets firing and with Matias Boho making a 3 point play the scores were quickly level on 28 each. A great delayed pass from Pau Mayor to the fast approaching Richards to score was followed by Carr’s fourth treble of the first half and saw Rockets have a 12-0 run to lead 33-28. Solent came back hard and fast with Elliot Sentance finding it difficult to miss as he hit 19 points before the break giving Solent a smaller lead of 52-47 which would have looked even better for Rockets if he hadn’t struck another buzzer beating treble on the half time hooter. Pau Mayor had stroked a pair of trebles to get Rockets very close but with a 12-5 foul tally against Rockets, the third period was going to be crucial.

Again Rockets scored first after Richards had sent a superb assist to Ben Dixon to stroke a treble, a very tough charge call in Rockets favour was given as a technical foul on Dixon…hard to take in the light of the first half foul count. Rockets re-ignited and David Chive scored both penalty shots having been fouled as he drove to score and then when all Rockets fans screamed for an 8 second back court violation by Solent , the ball went to Solent’s Sentance who hit another treble to compound the irony for Rockets. Soon Rockets found themselves 54-69 down but Boho, Richards and Ed Potter ( twice ) got Rockets to within six points before another buzzer beating treble brought the score to 74 -65 in Solent’s favour.

A Davis inside score, a Dixon finish and a brilliant Davis tip in drew the scores closer before some great floor hustle from Mayor lifted Rockets and Carr scored again. However four trebles in just over a minute by Solent took the game away from Rockets as Solent enjoyed a 15 point lead again at 94-79. A brace of Rockets trebles from Mayor and Carr brought hope but these were matched with the same from the league leaders who hit six trebles in this quarter alone and 14 in the game to take the win 104-91. Sentance had had a truly remarkable game with 40 points including 7 from 9 trebles, a 77% shooting rate but Rockets had given Solent their toughest test of the season to date.

Top scorers were A J Carr with a double double of 28 points and 12 rebounds; Pau Mayor with 13 points including three trebles; Nick Richards with 12 points and 4 steals; Liam Davis with 12 points and 7 rebounds and Ben Dixon with 11 points and 4 assists.

Rockets now travel to Essex on Saturday evening for the first part of a double header weekend before going north to Nottingham Hoods for a National Cup 4th round game.


Date Time League Season
16/11/2019 18:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


Solent Sports Complex
E Park Terrace, Southampton SO14, UK