Tag: #press release

Rockets looking to bounce back against Leopards

Reading Rockets (13-7) will be looking to bounce back from a pair of league defeats this weekend when they host a rejuvenated Essex and Herts Leopards (2-18) on Sunday afternoon, 5pm tip-off at Rivermead Leisure Complex. Rockets were humbled at home last weekend as they lost out to champions elect Team Solent Kestrels by 78 points to 110 as the league leaders made it 18 wins out of 18 games to put one hand on the NBL Division One trophy.

This weekend sees the Leopards come to the ‘Mead, fighting for their lives at the wrong end of the table but with some key additional personnel added since the last encounter between the two teams back in December when the Berkshire outfit recorded a 98-82 road win in the National Cup quarter-finals. Leopards added former BBL players Orlan Jackman and Elvisi Dusha to their roster as well as Lithuanian Osvaldas Gaizauskas before the 31st January deadline.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane is wary of the threat Essex imposes and knows his team needs to be better in the coming weeks as the season reaches it’s climax. The Reading play-caller said,

“Essex will be a much changed outfit to the team we have played twice already this year, three if you include a pre season game. We could also be described as much changed, which highlights to you the impact AJ Carr’s absence through a season ending injury has had on the team.

“Essex have done a great job supporting the team by signing three high calibre players, two of which have shined at the BBL level for the past few years. Based on resent performances by Essex, including running close to an upset over Hemel, we know we have our work cut out for us this coming weekend.”

“Regardless of results we are coming off a run of disappointing performances this side of Christmas and currently we are looking more from inside the camp to be better than focus too much on who we are playing. Whoever we play, we still need to defend the ball better, help each other better, rebound better, take better shots and not just the first one, communicate better and ultimately commit better to every action on court. We will know later in the week the injury outlook with a few guys carrying some injuries presently.”

Rockets go into Sunday’s game uncertain as to whether British Forward Ed Potter will be available for the Berkshire outfit. The 24 year old sat out of last Sunday’s loss to Team Solent with a knee complaint but it is unknown the length of time needed on the sideline so Potter will be a game time decision ahead of this weekend. Spanish duo Matias Boho and Pau Mayor came through their first game back together and look set to continue their return to fitness ahead of the visit of Essex.

Rockets will be hoping to come out of their mini slump with six games of the NBL Division One season remaining with only a couple of points separating the teams in third to seventh position and the fight for play-off positions intensifies.

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

Rockets looking to bounce back from cup final defeat with trip to Loughborough

Reading Rockets (13-5) will return to NBL Division One action this weekend when they take on Loughborough Riders (10-5) on Sunday afternoon, 2pm tip-off. The Reading team missed out on the first piece of silverware last weekend when they were beaten 90-67 by Team Solent Kestrels in the National Cup Final so will be looking to bounce back in league play and keep up the pressure at the top of the table as they push for a top four finish.

Sunday’s meeting between the two teams will be the second of the season with Rockets taking their home game in comprehensive fashion, winning 93-70 back in October. Since that match-up, Rockets have lost American AJ Carr through injury but gained British forward Leome Francis whilst the Riders have added former junior Rocket Harrison Gamble to their line up alongside Jonas Dieterich who re-joined the East Midlands outfit after a spell in the first team with Leicester Riders.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was understandably disappointed to see his team defeated in the National Cup but was very proud of his younger players stepping up and knows this will be necessary again this weekend. The Irishman said,

“We have really enjoyed our cup run and although we are disappointed not to win the competition, I am very proud of my team for the way they performed but now we are excited to get back to league action and chase a top four finish.”

“A very positive step this weekend was how our EABL (Elite Academies Basketball League) players stepped up and showed us they are ready for that next level of play and it is more than likely we will need them again this weekend with the injuries we currently have.”

“Loughborough are one of the best teams in the division and have bolstered their roster since we last played them. They play a good brand of basketball and are very well coached so it will be a tough trip there to gain a win and keep up the goal of finishing in the top four but I know the players are hungrier than ever to keep performing to the best of their ability with what we have as a group.”

Rockets go in to Sunday’s game with two major injury concerns and a notable absence. Spanish duo Matias Boho and Pau Mayor both missed out during last Sunday’s National Cup final defeat to Solent and are a big doubt for the match-up against Loughborough. 6’5 forward Boho Sayo is currently sidelined with knee ligament damage whilst 6’3 guard Mayor has an achillies issue and it is unknown when either player can return to action. Co-captain Ed Potter, who pulled down 13 rebounds in the National Cup final, is also unavailable for this weekend’s encounter but in better news for the Berkshire outfit, Leome Francis comes back in after being cup-tied last weekend and the 6’5 forward will make his away debut for the Reading team after his first outing at home with a 28 point 17 rebound double double. Academy players Ross Stepney and Kivuvu Live made significant contributions last weekend with Coach Keane likely to call upon his youth once again as Rockets go in search of win number 14 of their 2019-2020 campaign.

Remember for all the latest news and information, follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk


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Match Report – Cup Final – Solent Kestrels v Reading Rockets

Solent Kestrels 90 v 67 Reading Rockets.

Despite losing the National Cup Final on Sunday to the unbeaten Kestrels both Rockets Chairman Gary Johnson  and Head Coach Alan Keane were extremely proud of the way the depleted team played and represented Rockets in one of only 3 National trophies this season.

A final Saturday morning fitness test on both Spanish players, Matias Boho and Pau Mayor, revealed that neither could participate in any way due to knee ligament and Achilles injuries respectively, so coupled to the absence of long term injured A J Carr and new signing Leome Francis being cup tied, the Berkshire outfit took to the court with just 4 senior players. However the six Academy players made much contribution as they played 43% of the game showing just how blessed Rockets is with such talent for today and the future. ‘Our programme is designed for the development of young players and giving them exposure at the highest level of English basketball’ said Rockets Chairman ‘And in Alan Keane we have the very best coach to develop these players for either USA colleges or the professional game in main land Europe as well as with Rockets ‘ added Johnson.  He was immensely proud of Rockets achievement in reaching the National Cup Final and the way they played throughout the game, playing hard and raising their game from what looked like a game too far with the devastating injuries Rockets currently have.

Obviously Head Coach Alan Keane was disappointed with the loss but nonetheless very proud of his young academy players. The talented and deep Kestrels squad  imposed themselves on the game from the tip hitting the opening 6 points but Ben Dixon and Liam Davis hit back with drives and jump shots whilst Nick Richards hit a fade away shot and then immediately ran the length of the court to make a stop letting all the Rockets supporters and his team mates know that Rockets were here to play at their best whatever the circumstances.

After the 15-28 first quarter reverse Rockets lost the services of Davis as he was called for a second foul when Rockets fans thought he’d made a great block. Besides the ball not dropping into the basket as frequently as they’d hoped, Rockets persevered as Ed Potter was working tirelessly inside scoring and taking down rebounds with Dixon adding to his personal points tally though it was a 19 point deficit at the interval as Rockets trailed 30-49.

Just what could Coach Keane get out of his team in the second half. An excellent display is the answer as Rockets won the third quarter 19-16 and just lost this half by the smallest of differences 37-41 as Richards came alive offensively hitting 18 points , young Ross Stepney hit Rockets sole treble , David Chive took down 8 rebounds and made 3 steals as Rockets upped the intensity and speed. Davis enjoyed one of the few slam dunks in the game and Rockets players flung themselves on the floor to hustle for possession but a brace of trebles from Kestrels in the last minute gave the scoreboard an unfair reflection on Rockets efforts.

The game’s top scorer was Rockets Nick Richards who hit 22 pts, took down 8 rebounds and made a pair of steals and 5 assists in a complete performance. Rockets Ed Potter had a double double with 16 pts and 13 rebounds whilst Liam Davis scored 10 pts and took down 9 rebounds . It would be remiss not to mention Academy player David Chive who also took down 8 rebounds and made 3 steals to compliment his 5 points.


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Reading Rockets Under 18 Girls v Ipswich

Reading Rockets Under 18 Girls 57-60 Ipswich

From tip to buzzer this was an enthralling affair as defending champions Rockets trailed by a single score for most of the game but levelled with 2 minutes remaining and were just 2 points down with 8.1 seconds on the clock and certainly in the ascendancy but one very tough foul call went against Rockets and Ipswich sealed the game from the free throw line.

Anabel Latorre scored Rockets first points before the player of the game, Rockets Sitota Gines opened her account. Jess Ford scored inside and captain Gabi Sanchez led by example by taking an early charge before Gines made a superb steal, went coast to coast and finished giving Rockets a 10-6 early advantage. Gines took a charge but 4 unanswered Ipswich points drew the game level for the first time at 10 each midway through the opening period. A 7-0 Ipswich run caused Rockets Head Coach Antonio Acuna to call a time out from which Latorre scored inside again bringing the score to 16-19 against Rockets as the quarter ended.

A second big Ipswich treble took them out to an 8 point lead at 24-16 but Gines reduced the deficit and Sanchez finished a fine spoon move . Ford hit a jump shot and Gines made a 3 point play to see Rockets adrift by a single point at 25-26. However another crucial Ipswich  treble edged them further ahead. Rockets’ determination shone through again with Sanchez as she raced the length of the court to stop another Ipswich score quickly followed by Carmen Segura Moreno hitting a buzzer beating treble leaving Rockets 28-34 down at the interval.

The third period began with huge intensity from both finalists but neither team scoring before Latorre hit a brace of free throws. Unfortunately Ipswich hit another treble though Gines kept Rockets in touch with a fine drive and score. Rockets upped the tempo a little and showed great tenacity with a couple of key floor hustles, a Latorre block before the outstanding Gines made a steal, went coast to coast to score as Rockets stayed in contention at 38-43 as the final stanza began.

Latorre made a excellent stop and then finished well inside but Ipswich now had a 47-40 advantage with just 6 minutes to go. A Segura Moreno stop and a Ford finish was quickly followed by four Gines points as Rockets got within a single point at 48-49. The atmosphere in the packed Essex University Arena was amazing and though Rockets were knocked back with a buzzer beating Ipswich treble the courageous Rockets girls fought on levelling the game on 52 as Gines and Ford scored with less than 3 minutes remaining. Latorre made a stop but then hit 4 points before Ford made a jump shot to see the score 54-56 with just 48.8 seconds left and Rockets playing brilliantly. However a very tough officials call which many people in the arena thought had gone Rockets way was called against them and Ipswich hit a point from the free throw line to be three up and saw two of Rockets key players fouled out and Ipswich score both free throws.  Mia Thompson tried a huge treble but was fouled so went to the line. She hit all three penalty shots so Rockets were now just 57-59 adrift with 8.1 secs remaining on the clock. Ipswich took a time-out and scored a single point but Rockets’ brave effort was about to be extinguished as the 3 point effort fell short and Ipswich took the cup 60-57.

This was a great advert for the very best of Under 18 Girls basketball as witnessed by the packed arena. Top scorers for Rockets were Sitota Gines with the game’s highest points total of 21 which was complemented with 14 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists and a block whilst Anabel Latorre also had a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as Jess Ford hit 10 points.

To keep up to date with all the latest news and information, follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk

The Reading Rockets are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Coral Hotels


The Reading Rockets are thrilled to announce a new partnership with Coral Hotels, Tenerife who will be supporting our NBL Division 1 Ladies and Girls development programme in 2019-2020 season. Coral Hotels is a family hotel chain with 30 years of activity and a portfolio of 11 hotels and apartments located in Tenerife and Fuerteventura. The chain does not only offer accommodation, but also and above all, experiences, such as “Coral Families”, “Child free holidays”, “Nature and Adventure” and “Exclusive Experience”.

Coral Hotels and Reading Rockets share common values in the promotion of healthy lifestyles through sport coupled to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Right now 63% of Coral Hotels staff are women with 46% in management roles. It is these synergies which have prompted the Tenerife based hotel group to partner Reading Rockets Ladies. Over many years Rockets has engaged with Spanish basketball with annual trips to the major cities, the recruitment of Spanish coaches and Spanish players. Basketball is huge throughout Spain and currently Rockets’ Ladies has 6 student academy players in the team which plays in the top league of English basketball.

Reading Rockets’ owner Gary Johnson said, ‘We’re extremely grateful for the support of Coral Hotels as it is obvious this will be an exciting association.’ He went on to say, ‘External sponsorship is vital for the longevity and planned growth of our club and we look forward with international business links like Coral Hotels, who are brilliantly aligned in terms of vision, development and success.’

You will see the Coral Hotels logo emblazoned on the home and away Ladies kit as well as their banners at all Rockets home games. Special offers via a promotional code will be promoted on Rockets and Coral Hotels websites so book early to avoid disappointment, whilst promotional material will be given away at games. Please be sure to visit https://en.coral-hotels.com/

To keep up to date with all Rockets’ latest news and information, follow the Rockets on social media; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @rocketsreading or check out the club’s website – www.readingrockets.co.uk


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