Category: Main News

Match report – Westminster Warriors v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Westminster Warriors87Win
Reading Rockets84Loss

In a tight fought opening game away to newly promoted Westminster, Rockets missed opportunities in the last 21.6 seconds to secure victory as from a single point lead at 84-83 , Warriors drove to score and then hit a pair of free throws to win the game.

After Warriors opened the score returnee Ed Potter sent an assist to Bristol Flyers loanee Liam Davis to secure his first Rockets points with a slam dunk, something he repeated 3 times in the first quarter as he totalled 8 personal points. The titanic affair saw the teams level on 10 points each before Australian Ben Dixon sent a superb pass to Spaniard Pau Major to open his account and see Rockets 15-10 ahead. However a 13-4 run by Warriors had them go into the first break leading 23-19.

A Davis treble and hook reduced the deficit but Warriors replied with a treble. A technical foul called on Nick Richards appeared an officious action but Davis and Dixon scored to see Rockets down by just 32-33. A Matias Boho treble followed a pair of Warriors free throws to tie the game on 35. Potter took a charge to stop a Warriors score but they still extended their lead to 42-36 just 3 minutes before the interval. An exchange of trebles by both teams kept Rockets at bay before Major hit a treble quickly followed by a drive score to see Rockets trail 47-49 at the interval.

A Dixon drive score and great floor hustle upped the Rockets tempo at the start of the third quarter and soon saw the scores level on 51 and 53 but Richards was called for a second technical foul and had to leave the arena just under 4 minutes into this crucial period. Head Coach Alan Keane now had to give more court time o the inexperienced Academy guys and play the new signings more than he initially hoped. He needn’t have worried as Asher Ndah scored to see Rockets take a slender single point lead at 56-55 but a brace of Warriors trebles and a successful conversion of another free throw saw Rockets trail 58-64. With just over a minute of the quarter remaining. Up stepped James Jolly to hit a free throw and Davis hit 4 unanswered points including a buzzer beating spin score to see Rockets only 63-64 adrift as the final period beckoned.

The fast and sound offensive play by Rockets off Warriors early possession surprised Warriors who gave away 3 very quick fouls though they still managed to increase their lead to 70-65. Rockets needed some inspiration and the tenacious Potter fought hard in the key and received 3 assists to score 6 quick points coupled to an offensive rebound free throw . When Dixon made an interception to stop a certain Warriors score, the Rockets supporters and bench were encouraged and soon levelled the game on 72 , 75 and then 77 points with a little over 3 minutes on the clock. A Davis assist to Major saw Rockets edge ahead again 79-78 and keep that slender lead at 81-80 before a Warriors treble with 45.7 seconds gave them a 2 point advantage at 83-81. Coach Keane time out saw Boho fouled and he hit one from two from the line before another Dixon steal edged Rockets ahead 84-83 with 21.6 seconds left but Warriors were not to be denied a winning return to Div.1 as they hit the final 3 points to take the victory.

It had been a titanic battle from tip to buzzer and Rockets will be pleased to see the return of the 2 influential Academy players David Chive and Sam Grant together with the arrival of last season’s Player of the Year A J Carr as his visa has now arrived and he arrives mid-week.

Top scorers for Rockets were Liam Davis with 27 pts, Pau Major and Matias Boho Sayo with 14 pts each and Ed Potter with 12 pts.

Details

Date Time League Season
28/09/2019 17:30 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Moberly Sports & Edcucation Centre
84 Kilburn Ln, London W10 4AH, UK

Rockets re-sign AJ Carr

Reading Rockets have re-signed American forward AJ Carr for the 2019-2020 season. The 24-year-old, who originally hails from Fairfax, Virginia, becomes the eighth signing after the departureRockets re-sign AJ Carrof Match Burnham for personal reasons.

Carr, a graduate of Saint James School in Maryland, went onto play for Shepherd University in West Virginia for four years, totalling 85 competitive games since 2014 before joining the Berkshire outfit last term. In his first season with the Rockets, Carr averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds
Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is very pleased to be bringing one of his main players from last season back to the club for this term and knows the quality Carr can bring to the group. He said,

“With a relatively new team it will be great to have a returning player among the mix. AJ brings experience of playing in the league, an understanding of what we are about and how we want to play and more importantly mentorship and leadership for our young academy players within the squad.”

Carr himself can’t wait to get back to England and link up with Coach Keane and his new teammates and ahead of his arrival back to Reading the 6’6 forward said,

“I’m very excited to be rejoining the Rockets team and community this season. I really enjoyed my time in Reading last season and when Coach Keane called to say an opportunity had come up, I was really excited. I am looking forward to driving back to Reading and I feel big things are coming! #ReadyToRock”

 

Rockets tip-off against newly-promoted Warriors

Reading Rockets will travel to the Capital to open up their NBL Division One campaign this Saturday (5.30pm tip-off) when they face last season’s NBL Division Two runners-up Westminster Warriors. The Reading team had it’s first official pre-season last weekend against fellow NBL Division One outfit Essex and Herts Leopards and were victorious by 97 points to 74. The Berkshire outfit finished in sixth position in England’s top league last season with a record of 14-12 whilst this weekend’s opponents finished in second place in the second tier winning 14 games and losing 5.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is looking forward to the upcoming season and has really enjoyed getting to know his new look squad ahead of this weekend’s trip to Westminster. The Reading play caller said,

“What excites me most about Division One this year is the group of players we have this season. With many new faces and some returning it looks to be an exciting group to work with. The journey will be unique and diverse for each player but no doubt challenging and rewarding.”

“The league itself looks very competitive which is a great prospect for us and one we are relishing. Westminster have come back into Division One and I am sure they will be hungry to start their season well so we will need to be mindful of this but our sole focus is to be the best we can be in each moment and that’s what we will be striving for come Saturday’s game.”

Rockets go into Saturday’s match-up with no fewer than five debutants for their opening NBL Division One clash. Nick Richards, Ben Dixon, Pau Mayor, Liam Davis, and Mattias Boho Sayo will all suit up for the Reading team for the first time whilst Ed Potter returns to the fold after a year’s absence. The Berkshire outfit also has a heavy academy presence in their ranks with Sam Grant, David Chive, David Obediah, Asher Ndah looking to be in action for the Rockets top team with James Jolly and Ross Stepney also ever present.

Having scored 41 first quarter points in last weekend’s friendly, the Reading team will be looking to start their league campaign in a similar fashion with Coach Keane taking the helm for his second season alongside the new coaching team of Ciaran Dunne and Dan Lloyd.

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

Rockets complete roster with loan signing of Liam Davis from BBL outfit Bristol Flyers

Reading Rockets have completed their seventh senior signing ahead of the 2019-2020 campaign with the loan signing of 6’9 forward Liam Davis from BBL Championship side Bristol Flyers. The 23-year-old American who holds a British passport will join the Berkshire outfit on a season long loan following a successful four-year spell at Bethany College in NCAA Division Three and most recently at Ben-e-lot in Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe.

Davis averaged 13.1 points, 7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in his senior year at Bethany, helping the Bisons to the PAC tournament finals, whilst also earning All-PAC second team honours. The versatile forward put pen to paper with the Flyers earlier this week and their Coach Andreas Kapoulas was really pleased to acquire the 23-year-old. The Bristol play-caller said,

“Signing Liam shows our vision and commitment to building a programme with a long-term sustainable approach. He is a young promising player who we believe can develop to a very good player in the BBL. It’s not something that you usually see in our league, but I felt it was important to invest in him and work with him on a two-year plan.”

“It’s an exciting project and it’s great to be working in partnership with Reading Rockets, who are another forward-thinking club with vision and commitment to developing players. NBL Division one is a strong pathway for young players, and we are looking forward to following Liam’s progress this season.”

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was delighted to bolster his front court with the loan signing of Davis and is really excited to work with the 6’9 forward as well as grow the relationship with the Bristol Flyers. The Irishman said,

“We are very excited about this unique partnership with the BBL’s Bristol Flyers with regards to bringing Liam Davis on board. Coach Andreas Kapoulas deserves a lot of credit for getting the ball rolling on this. It could be seen as an exciting bridge linking the BBL and NBL clubs in a very positive way.”

“Liam fits exactly what we need to finalise an exciting Rockets line up this coming season. Liam’s skill set as a big will give us another dimension at both ends of the floor.”

Davis himself is thrilled to be coming to England and really likes the project in place for him over the next two years. The former Bethany Bison said,

“I’m really excited, I spoke to Coach Kapoulas and he told me about the two-year plan that he wanted to put me on,” said Davis.

“He said that I’m going to be the first player that the organisation has ever signed on a two-year deal, so it’s a promising sign that he’s invested in my future and he wants me to improve my game at Reading this season.”

Mayor magic as Rockets sign Spaniard

Reading Rockets have made their sixth signing ahead of the 2019-2020 campaign with Spaniard Pau Mayor the latest to commit to the Berkshire outfit ahead of the forthcoming season. The 6’3 23-year-old point guard played in EBA (fourth division) in Spain last season for F.C. Martinec Basquet Barcelona and averaged just shy of 15 points per game as well as just over 4 rebounds and 3 assists each outing.

Mayor and his team reached the final four of the Copa Catalunya last term and will be a welcome addition to the Reading team with the point guard position being filled by multiple players last season. Mayor also has junior experience in Spain and comes highly recommended by former player and now agent Adri Rodriquez Viñas.

In speaking ahead of his arrival to England, Pau Mayor is excited to move to England for a new challenge in a new country and is looking forward to meeting up with his new teammates next week. The point guard said,

“This upcoming year with Reading Rockets is my first experience as a “professional player” and my first experience away from home so I am going to give my 100% and try to help the team in everything I can, on and off the court. After finishing my university degree as a teacher, I am very happy to be able to have this opportunity and project within this team and city, and I hope to have a good time with my teammates and make the supporters enjoy the game. I am really looking forward to joining the team soon!”

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is extremely pleased to add a pure point guard to his roster for the 2019-2020 season and really admires the way Mayor plays, believing he will be a really good fit for his team. The Irish play-caller said,

“Capturing the signature of Pau is a really positive one for our team and he is a player I am very much looking forward to working with. We really needed to make sure we filled the point guard position with an experienced but hungry player, and we feel he fits the bill really well. I am looking forward to seeing the impact Pau has not just for our team but for our younger players as I believe they can learn a lot from him.”

Check back tomorrow at midday for further announcements!