Category: Match Report

Match Report – Rockets v Riders

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets93Win
Loughborough Student Riders70Loss

A packed Rivermead were witnesses to a great game as Rockets ignited in the first quarter, petered out a little in the second and then roared away on fire in the third and fourth periods to take a key win early in the season. Riders defeated Rockets twice last season , once in the Play-offs so this was a good barometer for Head Coach Alan Keane as Rockets took Riders unbeaten early season record with a purposeful offensive play before the interval coupled to an upbeat defensive team play from the interval onwards.

A J Carr was prominent on his return to Rivermead as he amassed 14 points in the opening quarter including a brace of trebles as Rockets took the period 30-21. Captain Ed Potter led by example taking down 4 rebounds and Rockets hit their highest points total of an opening quarter giving encouragement to the most appreciative crowd.

Back to back trebles from Riders quickly cut the deficit but a big defensive rebound by A J followed by a fade away score saw Rockets ahead 36-29. Another long Riders treble got the benefit of the roll of the ring and despite a long Nick Richards finish and a Potter inside score the game was tied on 40 each. Riders had controlled the boards in this period by 16-8 compared to Rockets dominance of them 14-8 in he first period. Riders then hit the last points to leave Rockets trailing 42-40 having lost the quarter 10-21.

Head Coach Alan Keane had now clearly seen the task ahead and made most effective use of the 15 minute interval to fire up his Rockets again. A Richards drive and Matias Boho dish to A J for a treble saw the game tied twice in a few minutes on 45 and 48 . A J hit another wide treble and Richards took down a key defensive rebound, was fouled and hit both penalty scores keeping Rockets on fire and energised. As both teams fought for control of the game, it was Rockets who took control with a 17-9 run which included an A J dish to Boho to stroke a treble quickly followed by a Sam Grant assist to A J to hit his 4 from 5 trebles. As David Chive gave Richards a superb assist and another Academy product Grant finished the period with a tip in Rockets enjoyed a 65-57 lead as the final stanza beckoned.

A 28-13 final quarter was the highlight of the excellent game as Pau Major scored off an offensive rebound to open his home venue Rockets account whilst A J spun to score. Richards starred in this period as he scored 11 personal points, made a steal, took a charge and took down 3 more rebounds firing Rockets to a storming quarter. Sam Grant had his most impressive performance of the season to date as he spun to score and then hit a trademark treble to have a season high 12 points complemented with 4 rebounds. Coach Keane was pleased with his senior players and keen to give his 5 academy students more court time that he brought them off court to a tumultuous reception from the appreciative crowd. This had been an excellent team performance so early in the season with encouraging signs for the long season ahead, recognising that this is a most competitive league with 4 different winners of the 4 trophies last season. It was so appropriate that one of Rockets exciting academy players, Ross Stepney hit Rockets last points as they took a well-deserved victory by 93-70.

Nick Richards was the first recipient of the Nando’s Player of the Game , a great start to his Rockets career as he also top scored with 30 pts; took down 8 rebounds. made 3 steals and a pair of assists. A J Carr hit 26 pts; took down 4 rebounds, made 3 steals and 3 assists with Sam Grant hitting 12 pts and taking down 4 rebounds though this was very much a whole team performance.

Details

Date Time League Season
13/10/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Thames Valley Cavaliers v Reading Rockets

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Thames Valley Cavaliers95Loss
Reading Rockets108Win

Having suffered a disappointing loss last weekend in their opening away league game with a depleted team, a vibrant and resourceful Rockets stepped up in a big way to take the scalp of Cavaliers, one of the teams expected to be vying for honours this season.

American guard Nick Richards went out of the trap like a greyhound as he stole Cavaliers’ first possession to score before the returning A J Carr hit his initial points of the new season having just arrived after visa delays. Cavaliers stroked the first of their 2 trebles but a Richards slam and Carr pull up shot kept Rockets ahead. Australian Ben Dixon then scored with a reverse lay-up immediately followed with a superb treble off a Pau Mayor cross court dish. However the talented Cavaliers, who had height advantage with 5 guys 6’7” and above, went on a 17- 4 run to lead 26-17 causing Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane to call a time out . Ed Potter strode onto court and does what he does best, disrupts Cavaliers plays and fights tenaciously for the ball as he scored four quick points and disturbed Cavaliers though they still took the period 32-26.

Mayor gave another assist to Liam Davis to have Rockets score first and though Davis and Potter added to Rockets’ tally early in the second quarter, another treble from Cavaliers saw Rockets deficit now seven points. Just midway through the period Rockets found themselves 32-45 adrift. Matias Boho joined Richards and Davis in now helping Rockets offensively whilst Potter was prominent in defensive mode. Richards drove and strode, Boho glided to score, Davis played hard inside to convert opportunities whilst Dixon sent an exquisite bounce pass and drove to score as Potter took a charge. Rockets had truly ignited and went to the interval just a single point behind at 51-52 as they had gone on a 19-7 run

The impetus stayed with Rockets as they tore into Cavaliers with another 18- 8 run to lead 69-60 thanks to more from Richards and Davis and more importantly a brace of downtown trebles from A J Carr…a pleasing return to court in a Rockets vest as he settled again into the English game and recovered from his jet lag having only arrived 48 hours before. Sam Grant hit a treble but Cavaliers didn’t want to taste defeat on their own court and with a 12-5 run including a buzzer beating score had cut the deficit to 74-72 in Rockets favour.

Despite Richards scoring off the glass with the opening score of the final quarter Cavaliers edged ahead with five unanswered points but Boho drove, scored, drew the foul and hit the penalty shot only for Potter to copy that moments late and see Rockets 82-77 ahead. Davis was called for his fifth and excluding foul but Carr and Boho saw Rockets maintain a four point lead with just over four minutes remaining. A brilliant Dixon steal and four consecutive Carr points saw Rockets enjoy an eight point advantage at 96-88 .

The appreciative spectators from both teams were loud and expressive as both teams fought for the victory. Dixon’s floor hustle roused Rockets and great vision from Carr as he inbounded at the defensive end of the court and threw an arrow pass to Richards the length of the court which saw Richards score, draw the foul and sink the penalty shot to ease Rockets to a comfortable lead at 103-92. Richards then hit all four free throws as he was fouled and Boho finished Rockets scoring as they took a key win 108-93. They had turned a 13 point deficit inside the first 15 minutes into a 15 point victory through improved defence in the second half, better rebounding and gelling as a team throughout the game.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 25 points, A J Carr and Matias Boho with 20 point each, Liam Davis with 18 points and Ben Dixon and Ed Potter also with 11 points apiece.

Rockets now look forward to a pair of home consecutive games

Details

Date Time League Season
05/10/2019 18:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Uxbridge College
Uxbridge College, Uxbridge UB8 1NX, UK

Match Report

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets97Win
Essex & Herts Leopards74Loss

Rockets began their last warm up friendly game at Rivermead against old rivals Essex and Herts Leopards with a convincing win by 97 -74. Head Coach Alan Keane gave plenty of court time to the new Academy young men whilst 6 of the 7 new Senior players familiarised themselves with Rivermead itself.

An opening quarter of 41 -25 set the scene as Rockets exploded from the start. By the halftime interval Rockets led by 67-41 with 3 of the new signings already in double figures an with a comfortable 85-52 third quarter advantage Coach Keane left all his academy players get an exhaustive experience of the top division in English basketball. This will prove immensely helpful in the season ahead as Rockets closed out the game 97- 74.

Details

Date Time League Season
22/09/2019 17:00 Friendly 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – NBL & WNBL Quarter Finals

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Loughborough Student Riders83Win
Reading Rockets63Loss

Loughborough Riders 83 v 63 Reading Rockets.

In the Playoff Championship quarter final, despite a good and encouraging first half, Rockets couldn’t contain Riders as they stormed the third period 22-10 thanks in principle to outstanding treble shooting. Riders hit five in this quarter and defended stoutly to take a double digit lead into the final stanza, which they edged  to take their place in the semi-final stage next weekend.

In the 2 league games Rockets had the head to head as each team won their home game but at the semi-final stage of the National Trophy in January, Riders lifted their game to win and go on and take the Cup.  Rockets were quick out of the blocks at the University but A J Carr was a little too enthusiastic as he was called for a pair of fouls inside the opening two minutes of early exchanges, meaning Head Coach Alan Keane had to bring him off court .  Captain Danny Carter ( in what was to be his last ever appearance in a Rockets vest ) worked tirelessly inside, took down rebounds and made key assists whilst Sydney Donaldson again proved the heart of the team seeing  Rockets to a 19-14 advantage at the first break.

The  second quarter was a much lower scoring affair as both defences stayed on top though Riders took the lead for just 50 seconds before the interval before Carter saw Rockets go the locker room 31-30 ahead. The third period was a tough one for Rockets as Riders hit five from beyond the arc compared to just one in the whole of the first 2 periods as they took the quarter 22-10. Carter, Donaldson and Trae Pemberton were the only Rockets scorers as Riders stepped up their already good defence. Despite a David Chive rejection with less than two minutes remaining of the third quarter, Riders stroked a brace of trebles, the last one on the buzzer and giving Riders a big boost and an eleven point lead at 52–41.

A Pemberton effort came back out of the ring at the start of the final quarter before Carr hit his only treble of the afternoon to reduce the deficit.  When Carter went inside to score, Rockets found themselves just seven points down inside two minutes. A very tough call with just one second left on the shot clock proved disappointing and costly for Rockets as Riders were secure from the free throw line and hit a pair of trebles to take a fifteen point lead at 64-49 mid way through the quarter. Carter shone throughout the game but especially in the final period as he worked ferociously to take Rockets to the semi-final stage as he poured in ten personal points, drove hard drawing fouls but Rockets just couldn’t find a way of stopping the rampaging Riders. Adrian O’Sullivan hit two trebles to reduce the deficit to just ten points at 63-73 with two minutes remaining but with Rockets needing to stop the clock to regain possession, Riders were frequent visitors to the penalty stripe from which they only missed one whilst Rockets’ treble efforts were unsuccessful as Riders took the quarter final 83-63 with a 10-0 run.

Top scorers for Rockets were Danny Carter with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists with Sydney Donaldson hitting 14 points and taking down 7 rebounds. Adrian O’Sullivan and A J Carr hit 8 points each with Trae Pemberton and Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo scoring 7 each.

Details

Date Time League Season
06/04/2019 14:00 NBL Div 1 2018 / 2019
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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Loughborough Student Riders63Win
READING ROCKETS58Loss

In a most unusual Play-off Championship draw both Rockets Men and Ladies found themselves playing Loughborough away on the same day so they travelled together bringing encouragement to each other with Ladies taking the moral win though Riders went to the semi-final stage with a narrow margin of just five points. From a 3-14 deficit Rockets got within five points midway through the final quarter and into the last 1 minute 17 secs but a very contentious refereeing call saw Rockets top scorer being called for an unsportsmanlike foul and having to leave the court. Despite this impact Rockets Ladies tried fervently to take the victory but just one of three treble efforts hit the target and Riders hit three from the free throw line to move into the semi-final stage. Four of Rockets Ladies had scored double figures compared to just the pair from the Riders  professional WBBL team as Rockets fought tirelessly giving a great performance.Riders had made three blocks inside the opening three minutes as Rockets just couldn’t break through the tough defence , finding themselves on the receiving end of a 12-2 Riders run. Rockets captain Maike Delow Fasbender stopped the rot and Noa Sanchez Marques made a pair of steals and finishes before Monica Herranz De Antonio  was secure from the penalty stipe as Rockets returned the 12-2 compliment and the scores levelled on 14 apiece. Five unanswered Riders points saw them enjoy a narrow 19-14 advantage at the end of the period.

Andrea Gomez De La Vara stroked the first of her three trebles and Herranz hit one too to stay close to Riders at 20-26. Sanchez Marques caused Riders into a five second inbound violation as Rockets ramped up the pressure but nothing seemed to be going Rockets way as they found themselves 26-37 down at the interval. Head Coach David Sanchez was expecting a fresh upturn in pressure from Riders and quickly Rockets found themselves 42-28 and then 48-32 in arrears as Riders struck a brace of trebles, one on the buzzer. Nonetheless this Rockets Ladies team wears the badge with pride and great team work and ethics shone through as they recovered to 43-48 moments before the last break though Riders went into the last period 50-43 ahead.

Rockets scored off their first possession to close the gap and then made a pair of stops but Riders stroked a treble. Sanchez Marques scored and Herranz De Antonio made a big rejection as the travelling Rockets fans bellowed their encouragement. Another Gomez De La Vara treble saw Rockets just two scores behind at 53-59 with two minutes remaining and Rockets in the ascendancy and causing this smart Riders team many problems they hadn’t envisaged after their early dominance. Then the decision that fuelled up Rockets through losing their stalwart player as Rockets did their upmost to take the win though losing out narrowly 58-63.

Top scorers for Rockets were Monica Herranz with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals accompanied by Andrea Gomez with 13 points, Noa Sanchez with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals and Anabel Latorre Ciria with a double double of 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Details

Date Time League Season
06/04/2019 16:30 WNBL Div 1 2018 / 2019

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Manchester Magic

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Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets95Win
Manchester Magic85Loss

On captain Danny Carter’s final home game at Rivermead on Sunday afternoon, before retiring after some 18 years’ service to Rockets, he shone brightly as he scored 21 points and made 8 assists. Though Mother’s Day, an appreciative crowd turned up to say a hearfelt thank you to the lionheart of the team for this long period of service .

Carter was in majestic form as he poured in 12 pts., in the opening quarter with A J Carr adding 11 pts. as Rockets took control of the game at 30-16. They added a further 29 pts., in the second period to enjoy a 59-39 lead at the interval with Carter having 19 personal points. 17 yo Academy player Sam Grant hit 7 personal points during this time as Trae Pemberton found his treble range and Sydney Donaldson provided the drive energy.  Tanner Kuehn made a block and scored to see Rockets 23 points up midway through the period though a buzzer beating treble from Magic reduced the deficit to 20pts at 59-39.

The third quarter was highlighted by a huge treble from Adrian O’Sullivan from inside his own half but there was a back court violation so it didn’t count but was a magnificent shot. Rockets were dominant in the paint and scored 19 pts., from turnovers as well as 19 pts., from fast breaks, much to the delight of Rockets supporters.

Magic had opened the scoring but that was the only time they led throughout the contest as Head Coach Alan Keane saw six of his players reach double digit scores. The low scoring third period saw Magic take it 21-14 as Jonathan Barnes continued his impressive contribution for Magic though Rockets still enjoyed a 73-60 advantage going into the final stanza.

This was highlighted by Rockets last signing before the January deadline,  Kuehn stroking three trebles in the last quarter. O’Sullivan wanted to join the party too with Rockets fourth three of the period as they saw out the game 95-85. Coach Keane was pleased to see thirty points from his bench as well as 24 assists and ten steals of which Rockets two big men were the most prominent. Donaldson retrieved a Rockets turn-over with a great interception as Magic fought tirelessly to get close to the hosts but Rockets experience and determination to make this a real day to remember for their retiring captain, saw them take the victory.

Rockets now look forward to the Play-off Championship which starts next weekend with them travelling to Loughborough for the quarter final stage.

Top scorers for Rockets were Danny Carter with 21 pts., 4 rebounds and 8 assists; A J Carr with 19 pts and 9 rebounds; Sydney Donaldson with 13 pts.,6 rebounds and 6 assists together with Tanner Kuehn also scoring  13 pts and 6 rebounds. Adrian O’Sullivan and Trae Pemberton had double digit scores with Pemberton taking down 5 rebounds and having 3 assists.

Details

Date Time League Season
31/03/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK