Category: Match Report

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Bradford Dragons

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
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.

Details

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

Venue

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

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Derby Trailblazers

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets77Loss
Derby Trailblazers102Win

The sickness that has been in the team camp all week and beyond for one player, took its toll as the weakened team just couldn’t stay with the fast and effective Midlands outfit in the second half of this thrilling game at Rivermead. With Pau Major still out with a leg injury, Coach Keane knew this was going to be a testing encounter as Derby have just strengthened their roster but Keane’s team worked extremely hard despite their lack of training this past week.

Liam Davis hit Rockets first points with a hook shot before Ben Dixon gave the first Rockets assist to A J Carr to score with a fade away shot but Derby hit six unanswered points to take the lead on 8-4. Matias Boho introduced himself to the scorers with Rockets first treble and Davis hit another hook score. Dixon was called for two quick fouls so had to be rested as Rockets fought to maintain their winning streak as they were chasing win ten from eleven. They took the lead for the second time at 15-14. Captain Ed Potter extended the lead with four quick points and Nick Richards finished a drive with a finger roll but a pair of inside scores from the Trailblazers saw them enjoy a 24-21 opening quarter advantage.

A turnover form Rockets first possession coupled to a miss gave Trailblazers the opportunity to go further ahead but two excellent moves with assists form Davis and Boho to Richards and Sam Grant saw the Rockets duo stroke a brace of trebles to take the lead again at 27-26. A Davis swat away stopped one certain Derby score but the scores were level on 31 apiece midway through the second period. A Richards steal and Davis score was interrupted by a Derby treble and the hard working Potter took a charge which he quickly followed with an assist to Richards to edge Rockets ahead again at 37-36. An off the ball foul by Davis saw him having to spend time n the bench but Dixon sent another assist to Boho to stroke another treble which Carr followed with a brilliant arrow pass for Potter to lay up and score. Carr scored off the glass taking the hosts to a 44-36 lead but a 11-3 reverse saw the game tied on 47 each at the interval.

A David Chive drive and score followed by a Boho assist to Carr edged Rockets ahead again but a Derby treble and inside score saw them go ahead 52-51. Eight more points either side of a Chive stop and go score saw Rockets 53-60 down . This got worse as five more unanswered Derby points gave the travelling side a 65-53 lead. Could the energy sapped Rockets come again ? A three second violation stopped Davis scoring but Carr hit a treble and Boho hit one from two from the line to reduce the deficit to eight down, a gap that was to stay as the quarter ended on 61-69.

Most of Rockets key players were now out on their feet as the energy just ebbed away from them and Derby stroked three trebles and eased to a 22 point advantage at 87-65. Richards hit nine personal points in this quarter but the game was won in this period as Rockets fell to only their third defeat of the season.

Nando’s Player of the Game was Matias Boho with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists whilst the other top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 19 pts, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; A J Carr also with 15 pts and 6 rebounds and Liam Davis with 10 pts and 6 rebounds.

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Details

Date Time League Season
01/12/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Nottingham Hoods v Reading Rockets

After a tough away game the evening before in Essex and four of his senior players injured or sick, it was a depleted in number team that Head Coach Alan Keane took to the north midlands opposition in the fourth round of the National Cup, topped up again with two more academy players Michael Perez and Jacob Cirtautas.

The game opened with Rockets only senior five players conscious that they’d be playing much more than usual and needing to be careful to also not to get into foul trouble. Hoods opened the scoring and then the teams exchanged scores with every offensive as Liam Davis and Nick Richards got Rockets onto the scoreboard. Matias Boho blocked a certain score and Richards stroked a fine treble but back to back trebles from Hoods saw them in the ascendency backed by a noisy and excited crowd inside the arena. A J Carr sent the first of his assists to Davis and the scores were level on 11 apiece. A Hoods treble and three jump shots was answered by a Ben Dixon treble and drive and finish but Rockets found themselves 22-28 down at the end of the opening quarter.

The second period saw Hoods hit three consecutive trebles at the start and ease into a 41-28 lead. Rockets were turning the ball over far too much and compounding this by not being clinical at the offensive end but an awesome 18-3 run gave them an interval advantage of 46-44 as Carr lit up the venue with three trebles and three other scores to take his personal tally to 19 points. From thirteen adrift to two up was a big statement from the Berkshire outfit and meant they were very much still in contention for that quarter final place.

As expected the third period was going to be hard fought as both teams tried to take control but neither did. Hoods levelled on 46 points with the first offensive but six points from Rockets via a Davis pull up and slam dunk coupled to a Dixon assist to Richards to score opened up a 6 point lead. However Hoods did likewise to level on 52 apiece. A Dixon assist to Ross Stepney saw the academy player score before a crucial wide treble from Boho levelled the scores moments before he made a key steal as Hoods looked to extend their lead. Dixon was wiped out as he drove to score but didn’t get any foul from the officials who had a very good game with only 15 fouls called in the whole game and only 5 against Rockets. Nonetheless moments later Boho made a steal and Richards scored and then the courageous Australian Dixon took a charge. It was truly nip and tuck as the scores were equal on 54, 56 and 58 as a 16 points haul for both teams saw Rockets go into the final stanza still with a slim margin advantage of 62-60.

Both teams were fighting for the victory and again the game was tied on 62, 70 and 72 as the end game appeared. A huge downtown treble from Carr brought delight to the travelling supporters but three missed scoring opportunities encouraged the Hoods fans as Rockets were looking tired after their exploits over the 2 weekend games, soon finding themselves 67-70 down.. Could the tired Rockets ignite for the last two minutes. Davis made a great stop and then strove to the other end to slam dunk and see Rockets 4 points with 1 minute 41 seconds remaining. Hoods scored and Coach Keane took a time-out but on the re-start Hoods drove, scored, drew the foul and went into the lead on 77-76 with 21.5 seconds on the clock. Another Keane time-out and plans for the next and probable last offensive with 15.6 left proved to be crucial as the ball was given to Carr who drove to the basket and finished with off the glass to give Rockets the lead. The Hoods time-out and possession that followed was stopped by Rockets who now move onto the National Cup quarter final away to Leopards on Sunday 15th Dec.

Top scorers for Rockets in this breath-taking cup game were A J Carr with 28 pts, Nick Richards with 18 pts, Liam Davis with 14 points but all 9 players were magnificent, even if exhausted.

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Match Report – Essex & Herts Leopards v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Essex & Herts Leopards67Loss
Reading Rockets81Win

Though not having had the best of starts to the season Leopards are much changed now and have further players returning soon, hence Head Coach Alan Keane quite properly ignored the league position of his opposition and concentrated on staying in joint second place in the league.

With Sam Grant out injured and David Chive on his sick bed, it was a reduced team that set off for Oaklands College the new venue for Rockets’ hosts. A 7-2 opening blitz by Leopards was quickly quelled by A J Carr and Liam Davis as Rockets drew level on 9, 11 and 13 points midway through the quarter. Leopards’ biggest threat was Hafeez Abdul who stroked back to back trebles to ease Leopards ahead by 6 points. Rockets missed a lay up and a slam though a late Matias Boho score saw Rockets down 17-22 at the first break.

Nick Richards opened his personal account with a fine spin move followed by a jump shot and then Boho hit both penalty shots. When Pau Mayor drove and finished, Rockets found themselves ahead by 25-24 as Ed Potter was his usual stern defender and Boho had a very effective offensive period as he scored 8 points including a key treble. Having been called for a brace of early fouls A J Carr had had to sit out virtually all this quarter and most of the opening period but Rockets appeared ready to go to the interval with a 37-34 advantage till the officials called a foul and Leopards hit three form three from the line to tie the scores again, on 37 each as the buzzer sounded with Abdul leading all scorers with 21 of Leopards’ 37 points.

Rockets would need to do a much better job on him in the next two quarters if they wanted to stay in league contention…..and how well they did that as Abdul only scored 6 more points in the remainder of the game. Rockets built from that improved defence and took the third quarter 25-16 to enjoy a little breathing space as 7 of Rockets 9 players scored. Carr was back on court and Mayor hit a treble before he was side-lined with a thigh injury. Leopards smelled an opportunity and levelled on 51 and 53 but a Davis block and a sweet treble from the Academy student Asher Ndah at the very end of the quarter gave Rockets a 62-53 lead.

Leopards hit another treble to start the last quarter whilst Rockets were called for three fouls within 2 minutes of the start of the final period putting added pressure on the Rockets’ players. Potter made a big block and Davis took down a key defensive rebound as Rockets maintained their 9 point advantage at 65-56. But the foul count was 5-1 against Rockets within 3.09 of the quarter start meaning Boho was fouled out . A Leopards treble was matched by a Carr treble but he was called for his fourth and fifth excluding fouls with Mayor having to limp back on court to help defend the lead and ensure Rockets took the victory. Davis made a pair of big stops and Potter was indestructible in the key as he fought for every ball taking down 6 defensive rebounds whilst also being a thorn in Leopards’ side as he also drew fouls including one as he drove to score on the buzzer. Rockets played a superb end game to take the vital win by 81-67.

Top scorers for Rockets were A J Carr with 16 points and 6 rebounds; Nick Richards with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals as Matias Boho also hit 14 points, took down 8 rebounds and made 3 assists as Liam Davis finished with yet another double double of 13 points and 13 rebounds.

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Basketball Hotline 0118 926 3040
www.readingrockets.co.uk

Details

Date Time League Season
23/11/2019 17:45 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Brentwood

Match Report – Team Solent Kestrels v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
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.

Details

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

Venue

Solent Sports Complex
E Park Terrace, Southampton SO14, UK