Tag: #basketball

Match Report Nottingham McDonalds Hoods v Reading Rockets

vs

Results

TeamScoreOutcome
Nottingham Hoods71Loss
Reading Rockets76Win

In not the prettiest of games littered with too many mistakes for Head Coach Alan Keane, Rockets grinded out a fine victory away to mid table Hoods. Rockets got off to a good start with an 11-4 opening five minutes as Sydney Donaldson imposed with his determined drives, A J Carr did what it says on the tin…rebounds and scores inside, whilst captain Danny Carter controlled the defensive boards. Hoods took a time-out and went on a 17-4 run to ease ahead 21-15. Both teams hit their only trebles of the first half and Hoods kept their advantage at four points at 35-31 at the interval.

The early exchanges in the third quarter saw both teams keeping tabs on each other but Hoods maintaining their four point lead until a steal, coast to coast and finish from Trae Pemberton turned the heat up and Rockets went on a 11-0 run to lead by 49-44. More excellent team play saw Academy student Arinze Emeka- Anyakwo swish a treble from the top of the key but again Hoods fought back and hit four free throws to see the period end in Rockets’ favour at 56-52.

Another Academy player making his way in the top English league stroked a treble quickly followed by Adrian O’Sullivan’s first treble of the game to have a double digit advantage at 63-53. However Hoods Mayer who hadn’t scored in the first twenty minutes of his court time, came alive with four consecutive trebles to draw the scores level on 65 as Rockets lost point guard O’Sullivan who received four minutes treatment on court as he’d been wiped out as he drove to score. Being unable to continue 16 year old David Chive stepped up to the line and scored from both the free throws. Hoods kept pace with Rockets at level on 67 and 69 with 1.59 remaining. Rockets experienced players stepped up to the mark in the end game scenario taking down defensive rebounds, driving and drawing fouls, using the clock wisely to keep control and finish with a 7-2 run to move up the league with another victory at 76-71.

Top scorers for Rockets were A J Carr with 22 points, Trae Pemberton with 16 points, and Sydney Donaldson with 15 points.

Details

Date Time League Season
08/12/2018 19:30 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019

Venue

Nottingham Wildcat Arena
Greenwood Rd, Nottingham NG3 7EB, UK

Rockets look to bounce back after double defeats last weekend

Coach Keane’s men were defeated 86-75 in NBL Division One Men v Solent and 85-69 in the National Trophy v Essex Leopards as their four game win streak came to an abrupt end.

Captain Danny Carter is struggling with a back injury but still tried his hardest to secure a semi-final spot in the Trophy which now will be down to the last pool game in early January when Hemel Storm play Leopards. Depending on the result of that game, the pool is likely to be decided on points difference so it’s out of Rockets hands now.

Rockets take on Barking Abbey Crusaders in NBL Division One Men on Sunday 2nd December, 5pm tip-off as they look to bounce back and maintain a push for a top four finish in this most competitive of leagues where it appears any team can take each other’s scalp on any weekend,  other than maybe Solent  who look down on all the other teams form their lofty perch in top spot and a 9-0 record.

The Reading team currently lie in seventh place with four wins and three losses whilst Barking sit in tenth position with a record of 2-5

This is the first meeting between the two teams this season with Barking back in NBL Division One Men after a year’s absence

The last meeting between the two teams was in the National Cup two seasons ago when the then NBL Division Two outfit Kent Crusaders caused a cup upset defeating the Rockets 92-83 in the quarter-finals

Assistant Coach Josh Thorne:

“Next weekend is a very important weekend for us. After two losses this weekend we have to have a strong week and continue to grow together and build on our development areas. Our focus remains on ourselves but we will be aware of the threat a young, vibrant Barking team will pose.”

JMA Rockets enjoy Erasmus trip to Spain

The John Madejski Basketball Academy with Reading Rockets took 22 players to Spain, visiting three of their beautiful cities in Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona.

The group departed from JMA at 2.30am in order to fly from London Luton airport at 6.30am – nice and early, or in most cases no sleep! A relatively smooth flight arrived in Madrid at around 9am local time and the group then started what seemed like an episode of Top Gear in their three 9-seater vehicles driven by Messrs Johnson (Clarkson), Benlloch (Hammond) and Fisher (May). The group was also accompanied by JMA and Rockets Division 1 Men’s Head Coach Alan Keane, as well as JMA’s Rebecca Anderson.

First stop for the party of 27 was to their accommodation at Aristos, the home club of former Rockets Coach Raul Lozano, where they would stay for four nights. After a short rest, the team travelled to Fuenlabrada to watch their ACB practice and have a Q&A session with GB Captain Dan Clark and Assistant Coach of Fuenlabrada Anna Montañana who also coached one of the JMA Rockets players Paula Romero Tarrega when she was younger.

Tuesday saw the group take a tour of the centre of Madrid with a familiar guide in former JMA Rockets player Iñigo Perez Baena. Later that day both boys and girls teams would play Tres Cantos, the home of both Iñi and Fidel Gomez who also had two years in Reading. Both teams played the club senior teams and were defeated with lots of learning occurring just 48 hours into the trip.

Wednesday morning was a time to reflect on the first two days, catch up on some rest, and for the players to meet with their coaches individually to discuss what they would be looking to gain from such an impressive trip. Both girls and boys teams then played Estudiantes that evening with the girls recording their first win coming from behind to take victory whilst the boys fell against a very impressive Under 18 outfit.

The following day and it was a trip to the NBA offices in Madrid to meet Alex Sarama. A most interesting presentation from a man that started coaching in Surrey and made the transition all the way to work in the biggest basketball association in the world. Later that day, the group visited the University in Madrid to meet the current GB Women’s Head Coach and Sports Psychology lecturer Chema Buceta. A fascinating insight was given to the players on all things surrounding the mental part of being an elite performer from self-talk, to confidence, to mindset and the like. An action packed day ended with a trip to the Wizink Centre to watch Real Madrid take on Buducnost in the Euroleague with the home team running out convincing winners 89-55.
Friday saw the end of the group’s time in Madrid and the three vehicles headed towards Blai Benlloch’s home town of Valencia. On arrival, the group was privileged to have a discussion with ex-WNBA player and Spanish star Marina Ferragut who is one of the most capped players in Spanish history.

The weekend started with a strength and conditioning session for the players followed by a very interactive physio session with Alvaro Gil. The players learnt how to tape themselves and each other in a really beneficial two hours. Later that day it was then time to visit another ex-JMA Rocket in former academy head coach Pedro Garcia Rosado. Now the head coach of women’s division two outfit Picken Claret in Spain, his team secured an 11-point victory.

Both teams were back on court practising on Sunday, getting ready for their upcoming games in the second week of the trip before watching Valencia v Fuenlabrada (the team they had previously seen train) in the ACB. Valencia Head Coach Jaume Ponsarnau visited Reading for three months about two years ago and it was his team that secured victory on the day 86-67 in another great spectacle for the tourists.

The start of the second week of the trip commenced with another S&C session and practices for both teams before an absolutely wonderful afternoon spent at Blai’s “summer house” where his mum and dad put on the most glorious spread of food including the traditional paella which was magnificent! Some fun then with Blai’s dog, Rudy and Gasol, as well as a trip in the swimming pool for some of our braver students ended what was a much-needed relaxed and fun time together.

Tuesday saw another action packed day with a trip to Valencia city centre in the morning followed by watching the Valencia Basket Women’s team train at their brand new and incredible training facilities at L’Alqueria del Basket. The girls’ team returned to the venue later in the day to claim a great victory over their Under 18 girls team whilst the boys suffered an agonising two point loss as Ben Fisher took the helm with Alan Keane returning to England on Division One Men’s duty.

The next day, the group was back at the Valencia headquarters for a talk with the Valencia Community Manager on all things social media. A very informative talk looked into the detail of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and how to use all the social media platforms effectively. After some familiar study time for the group it was game time for the boys as they fell to a very impressive Valencia Under 18 team.

Thursday came along and after a visit to the Valencia ACB team practice and some memorable time with Jaume, the three vans once again hit the road to Barcelona. A much more peaceful drive ended with a drop off at the hotel before heading to the Camp Nou complex to watch another Euroleague game, Barcelona v Maccabi Tel Aviv where the players and staff would be court-side for pictures with the players before the game. In what was an incredible atmosphere, Barcelona came out convincing winners taking a 74-58 win.

Friday, and it was back to Camp Nou for a tour of one of the most impressive football grounds in the world and the museum that accompanies the most impressive of architecture. After a great time there, both teams prepared for their final games against Joventud Badalona. In a shortened game, the girls secured another victory and the boys won their first game of the trip with an impressive 75-70 win on the club’s ACB court.

The penultimate day of the tour was a time to really enjoy the city of Barcelona and meet up with one of Rockets’ finest products – Matthew Marsh. The group travelled to L’Hospitalet to watch Marshy’s Under 18 team record a double digit victory with the 6’11 centre having two big dunks in the game much to the excitement of the supporting boys! Marshy then joined everyone for dinner at Barcelona’s NBA Cafe as the final evening of the trip came to a close.   The group returned to England the following morning and arrived back to JMA around 3pm after an incredible two weeks of highs, lows, learning, and enjoyment.

Thank you so much to Erasmus, the White Horse Foundation, the John Madejski Academy, and Reading Rockets for making the trip so enjoyable and memorable!

Rockets Senior Men ready to chase 2018/19 National Trophy

Reading Rockets are aiming to transform their pre-season performances into tangible results as 2018/19 National Basketball League Division 1 action gets underway this weekend.

Fresh from an impressive and measured win against the Welsh national side, Rockets senior men will play newly promoted Thames Valley Cavaliers in the National Trophy.

Five time winners of the Trophy, Reading Rockets will once again field their new-look squad, which combines experienced players with exciting youngsters from the Rockets Academy. The hunger and determination shown by all players in pre-season bodes well for the Rockets ahead of what promises to be a competitive year ahead.

The opening game of the new season will be something of a home affair for Reading Rockets as they make the short 45-minute trip down the M4 and onto Uxbridge to face the Cavaliers.

Despite facing the likes of Team USA and Surrey Scorchers in the pre-season friendlies, Rockets will be under no illusions as to the challenge that waits this Sunday.

The opening NBL 2018/19 Division 1 game will take place the following weekend, Saturday 6 October, against the Derby Trailblazers at the Rivermead Leisure Centre.

Head Coach Alan Keane: “Following this coming weekend we will have had four preparation games under our belt. Our three games to date (and this coming weekend’s preparation game) have given us great opportunities to establish what we want ahead of the opening game of the season. The process is long and challenging and we are nowhere near where we will be, however Thames Valley will be a very stern test. They are loaded with experienced players who will test every team in the country to their limits. We look forward to opening the competitive season with such a challenge.”

For more information about Reading Rockets, please contact:

Chris Hughes – 07917 352511

Chris.Hughes@sqn.agency

 

Meet the Player – Adrian O’Sullivan

What does it mean to you signing for Reading Rockets?

“It’s a dream come true; a lot of kids in Ireland dream of playing basketball at a professional level. I’m really excited to be a part of such a successful club. Playing in a professional set-up has been a goal of mine for some time now and I’m looking forward to being a part of the Rockets, who are constantly pursuing a high level of success.” 

How did the contact come about?

“Since the end of last season, I had been looking to play elsewhere and when I heard that Alan Keane received the Head Coach role with Rockets it was a perfect opportunity to reach out. Of course, the Irish link attracted me to the club right away. Both my uncle and father had been previously linked with coach Keane through basketball here in Ireland.

Your family has played a key role in your career. Tell us more…

“My family have had biggest influence on me in terms of my career to date. Both my parents played and coached at a national and international level for years. I have an older brother who also has a number of senior caps for his country and more recently has been involved in the development of young players in Ireland. I have an uncle and a couple of younger cousins who have also played at European championships and with all of this in one, it was easy to be steeped in the game as I grew up.”

What do you do away from basketball?

“Away from the game of basketball you would find me with friends. I tend not to watch a whole lot of Netflix or play the Xbox. I’d have an interest in soccer and the GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) in Ireland.”

With what three words would you describe yourself? 

“Determined, honest and outgoing.” 

What do you know about Reading?

“I know Reading is in the south-east England and just a short trip from London, which of course is very attractive. It is where the London Irish are based and also is one of the top areas for economic success.”