Reading Rockets’ (6-2) six game winning streak came to an end last weekend when they were defeated by current league leaders and reigning NBL Division One champions Solent Kestrels (8-0) by 106 points to 89 but remain in the top three in the division.
The Berkshire outfit will look to return to winning ways this weekend when they take on the leagues basement team Essex and Herts Leopards (0-8) on Saturday evening, 5.45pm tip-off at Oaklands College before travelling to the East Midlands to take on fellow NBL Division One outfit Nottingham Hoods (1-7) in the fourth round of the National Cup on Sunday.
Saturday’s encounter against the Leopards will be the first official game between the two teams this term with a pre-season friendly match-up ending in a Rockets home victory 97-74. The Reading team have already faced Sunday’s National Cup opponents after defeating Nottingham at home 98-85 last month in league play.
Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane has reflected on Saturday’s loss to Solent but is looking forward to getting back to action this weekend against two teams who’s results don’t reflect the dangers they both pose in his opinion. The Irishman said,
“This weekend we face a vastly improved team in Essex who have had a tough set of results so far but traditionally have started games really well so we need to be wary of this. Their record doesn’t reflect their positive performances and they have a lot of talent on their roster so we will prepare for them like any other team whilst keeping the majority of the focus on ourselves and being the best we can be.”
“Sunday brings a different challenge against a team we have already faced this season in Nottingham who have so far not got the results they probably deserve so again it’s only a matter of time before things start to click for them. We will need to respect them as we would any other team in the league and they have a strong inside presence as well as a lot of firepower from different positions so this will be a heavily focused defensive game for us.”
Rockets go into this weekend’s double header with no new injury concerns and with two games upcoming, Coach Keane will be needing to use his roster with eighty minutes of basketball to play in 24 hours. The Berkshire outfit went out at the fourth round stage of the National Cup last season when they were beaten 76-60 by Manchester Magic so the Reading team will be hoping to put those woes behind them and return to winning ways in the league with an opportunity to record win number nine in ten games post this Sunday.
Follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk