Tag: #letsgorockets

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.”

Rockets prepare to continue winning streak

Reading Rockets are back on the road this week following an impressive run of form that has seen them move up into the top-six of the National Basketball League Division 1.

Most recently, the Rockets powered to a 97 v 80 against Hemel Storm in front of a packed Rivermead crowd, extending their run of strong form. Adrian O’Sullivan was named NBL Division 1 Player of the Week following his contribution to the result.

A tough challenge awaits the squad with a combination of NBL and National Trophy action this coming weekend. First up, on Saturday evening, the Rockets will face the unbeaten might of Solent Kestrels. The dominant league leaders, who have scored eight wins in eight, will offer a stern test for the young Rockets line-up.

Rockets will need to conserve some energy for Sunday’s National Trophy game against Essex Leopards, who were triumphant 83-90 in a pre-season friendly. A win would see the Rockets take a semi-final slot in the Trophy and continue their 100% win rate in the pool stages. This fourth double-header of the season follows a weekend off for the team.

Head Coach Alan Keane: “Two great tests coming up for the group this weekend but our focus will be on one game at a time. Solent have started the season very well but if we can take another step with our behaviours to drive performance, we have a very good opportunity in front of us. I have been pleased with the progress we have been making and how we practice has allowed ourselves to push each other further to be better and stronger especially in the face of adversity. An exciting weekend ahead and we will give everything we have to secure two positive outcomes.”

Captain Danny Carter: “Looking forward to getting back onto court after a rest week. We are taking on the undefeated Solent Kestrels, which will really test us and what we are trying to improve on. On Sunday we take on Essex knowing a win will put us into a national semi final. Essex are improving every week and we will need to be ready for a tough challenge. Our last double header weekend ended in two wins and more growth as a group, that’s our aim again”

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

 

Rockets new line-up set for pre-season clash against Welsh National Squad

The Reading Rockets senior men’s squad will play their first home game of the 2018/19 campaign at the Rivermead Leisure Centre in Reading this Sunday with a pre-season friendly against the Welsh national team.

Tipping at 5pm, the match will see a new-look Rockets men’s team line up against the best players in Wales, offering recent signings the chance to gel ahead of the National Basketball League (NBL) season later in September.

It’s been a busy off-season for the Rockets with the announcements of US stars Trae Pemberton and AJ Carr, Irishmen Adrian and Ronan O’Sullivan, and recently confirmed Club Captain Danny Carter. The senior men’s side has received a further boost with Sydney Donaldson and Troy McIndoe confirmed for 2018/19.

There have also been changes to the coaching team following the departure of Manuel Pena Garces. Alan Keane has taken over as Head Coach, ably supported by Josh Thorne, who has moved from the men’s Division 4 side.

Keane also maintains responsibility for developing the young players in the Rockets Academy. Over the summer, Keane also guided the GB under-18s to their highest ever finish in the European Championships. With a focus on youth players, Coach Keane will now look at moulding a revitalised men’s team while launching the senior careers of a number of Rockets Academy players.

Head Coach Alan Keane: “I am excited that we will host the Welsh National Team at home this Sunday. Coach James Bamfield and I had some dialogue in the off-season about the possibility to play this game. With James doing a wonderful job with basketball in Wales, I have no doubt this team will offer us the challenges we need to continue building our Rockets principles and standards of excellence. The growth and development of Welsh basketball over the past few years has been great to see. This Welsh senior team comes to us off the back of a narrow loss to USA Select. In addition, two days prior to our showdown, BBL side Bristol Flyers will test them. This is another great opportunity for us to establish and cement our style of game, offer another valuable benchmark and a platform for our guys to exhibit their skillset and commitment to our process.”

Rockets Chairman, Gary Johnson, is delighted with the reality of seeing the Academy players getting more court time than ever before this season: “It’s been our goal for a while,” said the Welshman. “Already in two friendlies we’ve played five of the six Academy squad players with the sixth out injured, so we’re releasing these young men, furthering their development and being contributors. I urge everyone to come and witness first-hand the array of talent we have on offer at Rockets this coming season.”

In friendlies against Team USA Select and British Basketball League outfit Surrey Scorchers, Rockets new senior men have given much encouragement to the coaching and performance team, as they finalise their preparations before the National Cup, National Trophy and league campaign begin in earnest on Sunday 30th September.

The entire Rockets organisation will be keen to secure some silverware having come close in two competitions last season. In a year when the club turns 21, this could be the breakthrough season where Reading Rockets truly ‘comes of age.’

For more information about Reading Rockets, please contact:

Chris Hughes – 07917 352511

Chris.Hughes@sqn.agency

 

Rockets in seventh heaven as they aim for top four finish in final weekend of the regular season

Reading Rockets (15-7) will be looking to secure a top four finish in NBL Division One this weekend when they travel to the north for their final regular season games as they face rivals Team Northumbria (15-7) on Saturday afternoon (4pm tip-off) before matching up against the league’s basement team Lancashire Spinners (0-22) on Sunday afternoon (3.45pm tip-off). Rockets secured their seventh victory on the spin last weekend when they defeated league leaders Team Solent Kestrels, claiming a hard fought 78-66 victory to put themselves in contention for a third place finish. If Rockets finish the season with an equal number of wins as Northumbria and Worthing, they have the head to head over Worthing, who are currently fifth placed (14-=8). The Reading team would need to beat Lancashire Spinners on Sunday should Saturday’s affair not go their way to make sure of a top four finish and a home tie in the quarter-finals of the play-offs, scheduled for Sunday 8th April.

Rockets have faced both opponents at home already this season in league play securing victories on each occasion. The Reading outfit captured an 84-72 win most recently over Team Northumbria and also comfortably beat Lancashire Spinners 107-67 back in January but face a tough final league double header this coming weekend.

Head Coach Manuel Peña Garcés was really pleased to see his team chalk up win number seven in a row as well as deliver a much improved performance but knows this will mean nothing should his team falter during the final weekend of the regular season. The Spanish play-caller said,

I am really happy with last weekend’s win against Solent and the players put in a much better performance than in some of our recent successes so this is very positive for us heading into this weekend’s tough double header. Defensively, we were a lot better but know that this can improve further with more work needed on offence for us to really maximise our potential.

Whilst it is a positive time for us, it is important that we now focus on our game against a very good Team Northumbria this Saturday before we look ahead to Sunday. Sports Central has always been a difficult place to get a win and none more so this weekend with third place on the line for both teams. Preparation for this game will be crucial and if we are able to keep working on being the best version of ourselves and deliver what we know we are capable of then there is no reason why we can’t secure the all important win. We know the talent Coach Mark’s (Steutel, Team Northumbria Head Coach) roster has and there is no doubt he will have them ready to play as he has done so well in past end of seasons. An exciting time and we will be ready!

Rockets go into this weekend’s crunch double header with no current injury concerns: however the Under 18 duo of Adrian Nosa Castillo and Iñigo Perez Baena both remain out of action with injury and games themselves. The Reading team could make it nine consecutive wins to finish their campaign and be a real threat in the play-offs as they look to pick up their first piece of silverware in almost four years.

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