Tag: #letsgorockets

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Manchester Magic



Reading Rockets95Win
Manchester Magic85Loss

On captain Danny Carter’s final home game at Rivermead on Sunday afternoon, before retiring after some 18 years’ service to Rockets, he shone brightly as he scored 21 points and made 8 assists. Though Mother’s Day, an appreciative crowd turned up to say a hearfelt thank you to the lionheart of the team for this long period of service .

Carter was in majestic form as he poured in 12 pts., in the opening quarter with A J Carr adding 11 pts. as Rockets took control of the game at 30-16. They added a further 29 pts., in the second period to enjoy a 59-39 lead at the interval with Carter having 19 personal points. 17 yo Academy player Sam Grant hit 7 personal points during this time as Trae Pemberton found his treble range and Sydney Donaldson provided the drive energy.  Tanner Kuehn made a block and scored to see Rockets 23 points up midway through the period though a buzzer beating treble from Magic reduced the deficit to 20pts at 59-39.

The third quarter was highlighted by a huge treble from Adrian O’Sullivan from inside his own half but there was a back court violation so it didn’t count but was a magnificent shot. Rockets were dominant in the paint and scored 19 pts., from turnovers as well as 19 pts., from fast breaks, much to the delight of Rockets supporters.

Magic had opened the scoring but that was the only time they led throughout the contest as Head Coach Alan Keane saw six of his players reach double digit scores. The low scoring third period saw Magic take it 21-14 as Jonathan Barnes continued his impressive contribution for Magic though Rockets still enjoyed a 73-60 advantage going into the final stanza.

This was highlighted by Rockets last signing before the January deadline,  Kuehn stroking three trebles in the last quarter. O’Sullivan wanted to join the party too with Rockets fourth three of the period as they saw out the game 95-85. Coach Keane was pleased to see thirty points from his bench as well as 24 assists and ten steals of which Rockets two big men were the most prominent. Donaldson retrieved a Rockets turn-over with a great interception as Magic fought tirelessly to get close to the hosts but Rockets experience and determination to make this a real day to remember for their retiring captain, saw them take the victory.

Rockets now look forward to the Play-off Championship which starts next weekend with them travelling to Loughborough for the quarter final stage.

Top scorers for Rockets were Danny Carter with 21 pts., 4 rebounds and 8 assists; A J Carr with 19 pts and 9 rebounds; Sydney Donaldson with 13 pts.,6 rebounds and 6 assists together with Tanner Kuehn also scoring  13 pts and 6 rebounds. Adrian O’Sullivan and Trae Pemberton had double digit scores with Pemberton taking down 5 rebounds and having 3 assists.


Date Time League Season
31/03/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019


24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Rockets look for fifth place in final game

Reading Rockets (13-12) will be looking to finish in fifth position in the NBL Division One table this weekend but to do that they must beat already-relegated Manchester Magic (2-23) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex and hope Derby Trailblazers (14-11) lose to Hemel Storm the night before. If the two teams finish with the same record then the Rockets will take the higher seeded position thanks to beating the Trailblazers by more than they lost to them in league play. The Reading outfit lost the opening encounter 84-94 but secured an 87-74 away win meaning they would have the head to head should any tie occur.

A fourth straight loss for the Berkshire outfit could see them finish as low as eighth position should Essex Leopards (12-13) and Leicester Warriors (12-13) secure final day victories with both teams having the head to head over the Rockets. The Leopards have beaten the Rockets in both league match-ups this season, whilst the Warriors have the points advantage as they cancelled out their 96-82 defeat with a resounding 89-63 last month at Rivermead. The Warriors will host third placed Loughborough Riders whilst the Leopards will welcome champions elect Solent Kestrels (21-4) to Brentwood.

After seeing his side slip to their second and third defeats in a row with losses to Loughborough Riders (81-84) and Team Newcastle (77-80) last weekend, Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane knows Sunday’s game is crucial to secure the best league position possible and take a win into the post season. The Reading play-caller said,

“Last weekend’s two defeats were big blows for us but there is no time to dwell on it, we must learn and be better and move on to this weekend’s challenge. We performed well on Saturday against Loughborough which is a big positive but it was disappointing to lose the game but then to follow it up with a poor performance and poor result was tough to take. However, the one thing this group does is come back into practice, work hard to improve, hold each other accountable, and keep working to be the best versions of themselves and that is exactly what we will do this week in preparation.”

“This team can beat anyone on it’s day and now we need to find that ingredient to do so as we head into the last couple of games; I really believe in the guys and I think if we can mould a few things this week, we can be a force to be reckoned with in the post season.”

Rockets will go into their final home game of the 2018-2019 campaign with no new injury concerns and a fully fit roster to select from. Captain Danny Carter will play his last ever league game in front of his home crowd with the 30 year old forward retiring at the end of the season. The Berkshire outfit will play their play-off quarter-final game away from home the following weekend and will know their fate at the end of Sunday’s match-up against Manchester Magic which is also expected to be a sell-out.

Match Report



Reading Rockets77Loss
Team Newcastle University80Win

Reading Rockets 77 v 80 Team Newcastle

Having been relegated the previous evening, Team Newcastle appear to have lulled Rockets into a false sense of security, a trap they operated successfully.Rockets supporters had packed Rivermead hoping to see the anticipated victory which would virtually assure Rockets of a home draw in the Play-off Championship quarter finals in 2 weeks’ time.  But this was a rude awakening against a side who had nearly won on their own court just a few weeks back when Rockets scrambled an overtime win. For the second evening on the trot Rockets surrendered a double digit lead much to the consternation of all who witnessed Rockets demise.

Perhaps of most concern is that Rockets only shot 12% of their treble efforts against an average of 37%, only 3 in the first half and none in the second half against 10 drained by the opposition…..a difference in itself of 21 points alone. Rockets had begun well as A J Carr again was most impressive with nearly half of Rockets 25 points as Adrian O’Sullivan and Trae Pemberton complimented him with a brace of trebles and 16 yo David Chive threw a length of the court pass to fellow Academy youngster Arinze Emeka -Anyakwo to score. Rockets headed to the first break 25-20 in the lead.

Captain Danny Carter was able to return after missing the previous evenings away game in Loughborough and increased Rockets advantage with an up and under inside basket  before scoring off the glass and sending an assist to O’Sullivan to score. Rockets kept the 5 point advantage for most of the second period , even enjoying a 9 point lead with just over one minute remaining before the interval but a Newcastle rally took them to the interval just 44-47 down.

Having missed on their opening offense from possession at the start of the third quarter, Newcastle hit a treble to tie the game on 47. This was repeated on 49 and 57   but a step back finish from Carter coupled to 6 and 7 point personal hauls from Sydney Donaldson and Trae Pemberton respectively saw Rockets enjoy a 66-60 lead going into the final period.  A pair of Rockets misses either side of a Newcastle treble was soon settled as Carr scored off the rim,  from the free throw line and from the top of the key, so increasing Rockets narrow lead to 9 again  at 72-63 . However a turn over, a steal and another Newcastle treble gave them a 11-0 run despite the efforts of O’Sullivan taking a charge to stop another Newcastle score. Rockets nervousness was there to be seen no doubt with last nights loss from an even better position and the thought of a third consecutive defeat just ahead of the Play-offs. From level on 72 Newcastle drained a treble and scored inside though O’Sullivan hit 1 from 2 from the penalty stripe. A huge Pemberton treble seemed destined to score but it went in and rimmed out much to the frustration of the Rockets supporters. Chive scored to reduce the deficit to just 2 inside the last minute but Newcastle scored again. A might Carr treble effort  came back off the ring and even though Carter saw Rockets close to 3 points adrift of Newcastle, Rockets couldn’t tie the game as they did in Newcastle a few weeks ago and resigned themselves to a loss at 77-80.

Top scorers for Rockets were A J Carr with 20 pts and 7 rebounds, Sydney Donaldson with 13 points and  4 rebounds together with Danny Carter with 12 pts., and 6 rebounds and Trae Pemberton with 10 pts, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.

Rockets now finish their league campaign at home next Sun 31st when Danny Carter bids his retirement farewell after some 18 year with the Club only interrupted with a 4 year stint at college in the States.


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Date Time League Season
24/03/2019 17:00 NBL Division 1 2018 / 2019


24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Rockets looking to bounce back from a high scoring defeat in their final double header of 2018-2019

Reading Rockets (13-10) will be looking to bounce back from last Sunday’s high scoring defeat at the hands of Hemel Storm (10-13) when they travel to the Midlands to take on Loughborough Riders (15-7) on Saturday evening (6pm tip-off) before returning home to host Team Newcastle (6-17) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex.

The Berkshire outfit succumbed to their tenth league defeat of the season losing 121-116 at Hemel Leisure Centre but take on two teams they have beaten in league play already this season. The Reading team beat the Riders 101-86 just before the Christmas break and defeated Sunday’s visitors 112-105 last month in Newcastle after overtime. Rockets did however lose to Loughborough in the National Trophy semi-final in January, suffering a 66-91 home defeat that day.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is looking forward to next weekend’s double header as the regular season draws to a close but knows his team will face two tough encounters ahead of them. He said,

“Coming off a very high scoring loss and heading into next weeks double header we will travel to Loughborough on Saturday feeling if we can lock into to what we plan to deliver defensively then we feel we can beat any team in this league. However it is not that simple. Loughborough who we split two games with already will be a handful to defend as they have threats in multiple positions. Sunday we welcome Newcastle to the Rivermead who are coming off a recent impressive win against Essex. The away fixture took us to overtime to get over the line against them. We are very aware of both teams strengths and weaknesses, it is a matter of us needing to execute the game plan to it’s full extent.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s final double header of the 2018-2019 season with a fully fit roster but are likely to be without the services of Captain Danny Carter for one of this weekend’s games. With the 30 year old retiring at the end of the season and managing an on going back complaint, the 6’9 forward is unable to play back to back games so Coach Keane will manage this accordingly and Carter will be a game time decision on Saturday evening. With only three games remaining, it is feasible the Berkshire outfit could finish anywhere between third and tenth in the NBL Division One table so wins this weekend will guarantee a play-off spot and boost Reading’s league position which is currently sixth.

Rockets looking to make it through upcoming Storm

Reading Rockets (13-9) will be hoping to keep their top four hopes alive this weekend when they make the short journey to Hertfordshire to take on Hemel Storm (9-12) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Sportspace. The Reading outfit split last weekend’s games as the form book was thrown out of the window as they lost to relegation threatened Barking Abbey Crusaders 95-84 in Kent before returning home to defeat top four contenders Thames Valley Cavaliers 70-67.

Sunday’s meeting will be the third of the season between the two teams with Rockets currently leading the series 2-0. The Berkshire outfit picked up National Trophy success back in October with a 117-95 victory before repeating the feat in league play, winning 97-80 the following month. This will be the first game between the two sides in Hemel this weekend which hasn’t been a happy stomping ground for the Rockets in recent years having not been victorious there since October 2016.

In speaking ahead of Sunday’s match-up with the Storm, Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased his team managed to pick up one valuable win last weekend after a tough couple of weeks but knows the upcoming test will be a tough one for the group. He said,

“Coming off a very tough stretch schedule wise which had an impact on injuries and fatigue, it will feel refreshing to have only one game next weekend. Hemel have really rejuvenated themselves with new signings and a positive run of form this side of Christmas. Having played and beaten them twice this season we are very familiar with the threat they bring across multiple positions. We will approach the game like any other, fully prepared and ready to go with a full roster.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s game with the news Captain Danny Carter should be able to return to fold after sitting out of last Sunday’s win over Thames Valley. The 30 year old forward continues to nurse his back complaint in his final competitive season but is most likely to return to action against Hemel Storm. A hip injury stunted American Trae Pemberton’s weekend last time out but should be fit in time for the trip to Hertfordshire. Coach Keane may well have a full squad to select from as the Rockets look to push on for a top four finish with five regular season games remaining.