Reading Rockets (7-3) will be looking to bounce back from their heavy defeat to Derby Trailblazers (6-4) this weekend when they take on Bradford Dragons (4-6) at the John Madejski Academy on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off. Rockets suffered a 77-102 loss at the hands of their visitors last weekend and slip to fourth place in the NBL Division One table after only their second league loss in nine games.
The Berkshire outfit will entertain the Dragons for the first time this term, a team they did the double over last season recording an 89-95 away victory whilst dominating the home affair 100-60. Bradford are on a good run in league play having won three out of the last four with their only loss in that period coming against Hemel Storm in a 94-88 overtime loss.
Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was disappointed with last weekend’s performance and knows Bradford will provide a tough test for his team this Sunday but believes the group will be ready to respond. He said,
“Last weekend’s loss to Derby was probably the poorest performance of the season from us so far and it was disappointing to see, however we are not defining ourselves on one game and we all get back to practice this week to re-align and re-focus ahead of Sunday’s game against Bradford.”
“Bradford are a well established team in the division and Coach Mellor does a really good job with the groups he has and this year he has a good blend of youth and experience and are a match for anyone on any given day. They have a number of players who know the league really well and this helps them compete with the best teams.”
“Whilst we will respect what Bradford bring to the table on Sunday, I know the players will be wanting to give a response after last week as well as continuing on our journey of being the best we can in every moment.”
Rockets go into Sunday’s clash having had some recent injury and illness concerns. Spanish guard Pau Mayor did not recover in time to face Derby last weekend after sustaining a dead leg the previous week and it will be touch and go as to whether 23 year old will be fit in time for this Sunday. Captain Ed Potter was a doubt for Rockets’ ahead of last Sunday’s loss with a fractured hand, however the 24 year old forward did suit up for the Berkshire outfit and should be fit to play against Bradford. American AJ Carr played through a severe bout of flu last weekend but the Reading team are hopeful he will have fully recovered ahead of this week’s upcoming game.
Rockets are 7-3 through the first ten games of the regular season with a tough schedule to end 2019 with visits to Worthing Thunder, Essex and Herts Leopards (National Cup quarter-final) and Hemel Storm rounding of the year.
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