Category: Mens Team

Rockets face Liverpool and Birmingham in league and cup double header

Reading Rockets (4-1) will take their four game winning streak to the north of England this weekend when they take on Liverpool Basketball Club on Saturday evening (5pm tip-off) before travelling back to the Midlands to take on NBL Division Two outfit Team Birmingham Elite in the National Cup third round on Sunday afternoon, 4.20pm tip-off.

Rockets were victorious for the fourth time in succession last Sunday when they beat Barking Abbey by 99 points to 73 to move into second position in the NBL Division One table. This weekend’s league opponents Liverpool have had a positive start to life in Division One after promotion last term with two wins out of the first five games against Barking Abbey and Bradford Dragons. Sunday’s National Cup opponents have started 1-2 in Division Two with Team Birmingham most recently losing to former Division One champions Manchester Magic by 53 points to 67.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased with last Sunday’s win against Barking Abbey after a shaky start and is looking forward to this weekend’s match-ups despite potentially being short-handed in both games. The Reading play-caller said,

“We started the game against Barking pretty slowly but we didn’t press the panic button and we kept chipping away. Having been down by as many as 14 points in the game, we showed that our positivity and being the best we can in every moment really helped us to overcome some hurdles and record another win with a very pleasing second half performance, especially without AJ (Carr).”

“This weekend will be a really tough test. Liverpool have come into the league with some good talent on their roster as well as some real experience that this league requires. They have already recorded a couple of wins and making the long journey there is also something to factor in. We will be solely focused on this game first before moving on to Sunday’s cup game.”

“The game against Birmingham will also be a tricky test especially as we have to sit one of our two biggest influences so far this season in AJ Carr or Nick Richards. Birmingham will believe they can win the game especially with their style of basketball but for us it will be about taking one game at a time and being the best we can be during each game.”

Rockets go in to this weekend’s double header with American AJ Carr a major injury doubt for the two upcoming games. The 6’6 24 year old sat out of last Sunday’s win against Barking Abbey with a hamstring injury and it is still uncertain whether he will be able to play any part this weekend. That, coupled with the Berkshire outfit only being able to play one American player in the National Cup game against Team Birmingham due to the Basketball England rules of only playing one import player against lower league opposition, means that Coach Keane may not have a full squad to choose from for both games.

The Reading outfit will be hoping to go better in the National Cup this season after losing to Manchester Magic 76-60 in the third round last season with the potential of a fourth round tie and a six game winning streak available to Coach Keane’s men at the end of the weekend.

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

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

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Barking Abbey

vs

Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets99Win
BARKING ABBEY UEL73Loss

In an action packed thriller at the John Madejski Academy as Rivermead was not available, Rockets came from 2-14 down in the opening 4 minutes of the game to secure an emphatic victory by 26 points as they turned the game on its head from that moment onwards. The introduction of Ed Potter from that fourth minute stepped up Rockets defence, saw them work harder on the boards and when not in possession of the ball whilst Potter personally hit 10 points, took down a key rebound, made a steal, as well as a save to ignite Rockets and lead by example as a captain should. After Barking hit back to back trebles to disturb Rockets from the tip it was a Liam Davis score that put points onto the board for the home side. Nick Richards stepped in with a couple of assists and 4 points but Rockets were adrift 18-15 at the first break.

Ben Dixon took a charge in the opening seconds of period two and Barking’s Head Coach was called for a technical foul which Richards converted to set Rockets on their way to an impressive 27-16 quarter score. Potter continued where he’d left off with a spin score and a defensive rebound and Matias Boho scored ten personal points in this quarter and took down a pair of rebounds though Barking still controlled the boards at both ends of the court with the stats showing 28-18 in their favour. Nonetheless it was the role of another Rockets academy player, Asher Ndah, to score and give Rockets the lead for the first time in the game at 32-31 in the latter stage of this period. Boho was secure from the penalty stripe and stroked Rockets first and sole treble before the interval which was clinically finished by Nick Richards with a buzzer beating score off the glass seeing Rockets with a slender 45-41 half time advantage.

Liam Davis exchanged telling passes to Nick Richards as the American guard hit back to back scores before Matias Boho stroked a treble. When Dixon scored off an offensive rebound and then form a David Chive steal, Rockets enjoyed a double digit lead for the first time in the game and one which they never looked like losing for the remainder of the game. A Dixon floater was followed by an exquisite bounce pass from Potter for Davis to score which Potter followed with a defensive rebound, drive and score giving Rockets a 63-49 advantage.

Pau Major hit the first of his 4 trebles and Potter ended the quarter with a reverse lay-up. Rockets headed to the last period with a 72-54 lead thanks to another ten point haul for the third Rockets player in consecutive quarters via Nick Richards.

Sam Grant hit a wide treble and Rockets defence caused Barking into a 24 second violation before a great pass form Potter to Davis saw the big man slam dunk. A Potter save saw Rockets move 21 points ahead at 81-60 and allowing Head Coach Alan Keane to exercise his academy players for half of the last quarter which they took 18-13 and rounded off a solid final three quarters for Rockets where they hit 27 points in each and defended stoutly to restrict the talented Barking side to just to 16, 13 and 19 respectively and seeing Rockets to a deserved victory that takes them to second in the league.

This is encouraging start so early in the season for Coach Keane and his coaching team, the players themselves and the supporters though it’s recognised there’s a long way to go to the end of March.

Top scorers for Rockets were captain Ed Potter with 20 pts, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Nick Richards hit 19 pts and made 3 assists whilst Pau Major made his best contribution so far this season with 17 pts which included 4 trebles coupled to 4 rebounds and 7 assists. Matias Boho hit 14 pts took down 6 rebounds and made a p[air of assists and Liam Davis finished with a double double of 11 pts and 12 rebounds.

Ed Potter collected the Nando’s Player of the Game award for his leadership and his personal performance.

Details

Date Time League Season
27/10/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

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

Rockets look to build on solid start to the season

Reading Rockets (3-1) will look to build on their three game winning streak this weekend when they welcome Barking Abbey (1-3) to Reading on Sunday for round 5 of their NBL Division One campaign. The Berkshire outfit are unable to host at their normal home venue of Rivermead Leisure Complex due to unavailability, a problem the Reading team has faced in multiple seasons, so this weekend they will revert to their training venue at the John Madejski Academy.

Rockets were victorious last weekend as they secured a hard fought 98-85 win over Nottingham Hoods moving the Reading team up to third position in the NBL Division One table after four games. Sunday’s opponents Barking Abbey currently have the reverse of Rockets’ record after a narrow defeat last weekend going down 84-79 away at Liverpool.

Sunday’s match-up will see the current Great Britain Under 16 and 18 coaches go head to head as James Vear, having taken over the helm from Lloyd Gardner at Barking, locks horns with Rockets play-caller Alan Keane for the first time in Division One.

The Rockets Head Coach was pleased with last weekend’s win over Nottingham Hoods but really appreciates how competitive the league is this season and knows Sunday’s opponents will be looking to getting back to winning ways. The Irishman said,

“Last Sunday’s win was pleasing against a talented and hard working Nottingham outfit and we have taken a lot of positives from the performance. However, another poor second quarter by our standards does need to be addressed if we are to perform at the highest level and be competitive at the top end of the table as well as on a consistent basis. As always, we will review, learn, and be better ahead of our next game to help us be the best we can.”

“We are really looking forward to Sunday’s game against Barking Abbey especially with James (Vear, Head Coach of Barking Abbey) at the helm of our opponents and I know he is working really hard with his young team to compete in the division as they grow and get better. They are a dangerous opponent as they play up tempo, fearless basketball so we will need to be ready for what they throw at us this weekend.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s game with no new injury concerns with Coach Keane hopeful of a fully fit squad to choose from. 2-time player of the game Nick Richards continues to lead the team in many categories with teammate Liam Davis continuing his good scoring run after his 22 points 7 rebounds haul last time out. 18 year old David Chive impressed in only his second game of the season from beyond the arc as the Rockets look to secure four wins on the bounce at JMA 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 – Reading Rockets v Nottingham McDonalds Hoods

vs

Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Reading Rockets98Win
Nottingham Hoods85Loss

After a blistering opening quarter Rockets were held back in the second before igniting in the third and controlling the fourth period to have a convincing win at Rivermead on Sunday evening whilst also securing joint second place in the league with 4 other teams (as shown in the league table attached.)

Academy student David Chive was truly on fire from tip as he stroked 4 trebles in this quarter with Liam Davis hitting a brace himself whilst the ultimate Player of the Game, Nick Richards gave assists, made a steal and hit a pair of jump shots. Rockets offence was a delight to behold and their use of the 24 second clock spot on as they drained a pair of buzzer beating trebles in the last minute before the first break to lead 30-16.

The talented Hoods played with a press for much of the second period to cause Rockets many issues and restricting Rockets to just 14 points. Hoods hit 30 of their own to lead into the interval 46-44, much to the surprise of Rockets supporters as Hoods went on a 26-12 run to finish the quarter. Matias Boho and Ed Potter opened their personal tallies as did young Sam Grant but Head Coach Alan Keane did as he did last week, brought the issues to a head at the team meeting interval and launched them with a new strategy for the third quarter., one item was to move the ball quickly but accurately again and to drive to the basket. This Rockets did well as they drew fouls early on as they drove determinedly to score, finishing well and entertaining the supporters with a brace of slams. Liam Davis took down an offensive rebound to score as A J Carr made a crucial tip away and interception. Hoods took a time out as Rockets were beginning to enjoy themselves again but a 17-8 run as part of a 32-18 quarter saw Rockets ahead 76-64 as the final stanza began.

A Richards dish to A J saw the American stroke a treble moments before Pau Major dished to Ben Dixon to score. A cut eye saw A J leave the court but the mercurial youngster Chive gave an exquisite assist to Boho to hit a treble and see Rockets maintain their double digit advantage throughout the quarter . Richards and Davis enjoyed three quick exchanges of assists for each other and seeing Richards have one slam and Davis a pair to finish Rockets scoring a see them move further up the league table.

Top scorers for Rockets were Player of the Game for the second consecutive week, Nick Richards with 26pts, 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals followed by Liam Davis with 22 pts, and 7 rebounds. David Chive had 14 pts, 6 assists and 4 steals whilst Matias Boho had 13 pts, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Ben Dixon also had a double digit score of 10 pts , took down 6 rebounds, made a pair of assists and had 2 steals.

Details

Date Time League Season
20/10/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020

Venue

Rivermead
24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Rockets looking to make it three in a row with visit of Nottingham

Reading Rockets (2-1) will be looking to make it three wins on the spin this Sunday when they welcome Nottingham Hoods (0-3) to Rivermead Leisure Complex, 5pm tip-off. Rockets were victorious for the second time in a week after ending Loughborough Riders’ (2-1) 100% start to their NBL Division One campaign, winning by 93 points to 70. Sunday’s visitors to Reading, Nottingham Hoods, are currently yet to record a win this term but have already played three of the top five teams losing by only narrow margins.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased to see his team chalk up win number two but feels his team can offer more in certain aspects of the game. The Irishman said,

“I was really pleased with many parts from last weekend including our opening quarter when we really committed to what we had agreed prior to the game. But what concerned me was our performance in the second quarter which was almost the opposite to how we had started so that is something for us to look at and address. Overall, it was a good performance for us against one of the leagues most consistent performers in the last three years.”

“This weekend we welcome Nottingham to Reading and although they are yet to win, they are one of the toughest teams in the division. Last season we had two really good battles with them and their youth and experience really make them a threat in our league.”

“We will continue with our development and preparations this week and look to build on the two acceptable performances we have delivered so far this season. What is great for us is we will be back in front of our home fans who were awesome in our first home game of the season last weekend.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s contest with Nottingham Hoods with a fully fit squad to select from after David Chive made his return to the team following a two week absence. All 12 of Coach Keane’s group saw some playing time last weekend with big performances from American duo Nick Richards and AJ Carr as the pair combined for 56 points in their teams 23 point victory. The Berkshire outfit is yet to lose to this weekend’s opponents having beaten them twice last season, most recently in March when they recorded an 88-76 victory.

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