Tag: #roadtrip

Match Report Team Birmingham Elite v Reading Rockets -3rd Round Cup match

In the third round of the National Cup away to Birmingham and without A J Carr as Rockets cannot play 2 import players against lower league opposition in the cup, the developing Spaniard Pau Major was given a key role as Head Coach Alan Keane played all his academy players for many minutes with Major as the ‘conductor’ for most of the time after Rockets had stormed the opening period with a game winning 34-7 score.

The first quarter had seen Nick Richards hit 14 personal points including a brace of trebles which Major matched as Ben Dixon began with a block and Matias Boho a hook score. Birmingham Head Coach was not happy with his players or the officials and was given a technical foul mid-way through the opening exchanges. Ed Potter took down his own offensive rebound and when fouled hit both free throws. David Chive did likewise from the penalty stripe and Coach Keane showed his plans by introducing 4 academy players.

The second quarter was a tighter affair as Rockets youngsters fought to retain the supremacy displayed by the team in the first period. This they did, just, by 13-12 as they settled into their roles . Asher Ndah finished a great 5 man offence before then stopping a Birmingham score. Liam Davis was asked to get some exercise and scored with a pair of slam dunks. Rockets had dominated the boards by 29-12 , had made 13 assists and stole the ball on 8 occasions to have a comfortable lead of 47-19 at the interval.

Coach Keane began the third period with his starting five but Birmingham hit the first score. Richards made a great rip to steal the ball and on the Rockets offence Birmingham’s captain D. Penkov and their Head Coach were called again for technical fouls against the officials so both were ejected from the sports hall increasing the pressure on the young Birmingham Elite. Matias Boho was given a long run in this quarter and hit ten personal points including a treble from a Sam Grant assist. Major hit another brace of trebles though it was good to see the hosts stroke their only treble of the game to much applause from both sets of supporters as Elite kept coming and competing for every ball. However a 31-17 period had made the game impossible for them to win as Rockets enjoyed a 78-36 lead as the final period began.

Seven of Rockets players scored in this quarter with four academy players troubling the scorers as Major made a steal, tipped out another Elite offence and took his own tally to his best so far this season of 20 points. Ndah slammed a score after an assist from Boho before he stroked a treble from out wide having taken the defensive rebound moments before which led to Rockets gaining the possession from which he scored. A final period of 23-16 gave Rockets passage to the next round with a 101-52 victory.

Rockets have again been drawn away and will now play either Derbyshire Arrows or Nottingham Hoods on Sun 24th Nov in the fourth round.

Top scorers for Rockets were Pau Major with 20 pts, 4 steals, 4 assist and 3 rebounds with Nick Richards, Matias Boho and Ed Potter hitting 18 pts apiece.


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Match Report – Liverpool Basketball v Reading Rockets



Liverpool Basketball86Loss
Reading Rockets90Win

Conscious of a double header weekend ahead of them Rockets were keen to get the league win ahead of the National Cup 3rd round at Birmingham the following day and set about their challenge with zest as they stormed the opening quarter 21-12.

A J Carr sent the first of his 7 assists to 6’9” Liam Davis to slam dunk to open Rockets account which Carr followed up with a second assist to Ben Dixon and a third to American guard Nick Richards within the first 3 minutes of the game showing his value to the Reading team. Davis played well inside and outside the box as he stroked a treble and drew fouls as he scored in the paint. When Carr hit a treble wide out thanks to a Pau Major assist, Rockets looked comfortable at the end of the first period.

But what a fight back from the hosts as they stroked 4 trebles as they raised their game and were clinical offensively as they took the second quarter 26-23 whilst Matias Boho stopped one offensive with a huge rejection but still the talented Liverpool team came forward threatening with every move. Carr and Richards hit trebles for Rockets but with 14 points off Rockets turnovers, Head Coach Alan Keane was not pleased seeing this stat at the interval. Liverpool had also scored 11 points off fast breaks and made 8 steals as they fought tenaciously to reduce Rockets advantage at the break to 44-38.

From their biggest lead of 23-12 early in the second period Rockets needed and again had a strong third quarter though a 9-0 final run by Liverpool saw Rockets advantage slightly increased to 65-57 thanks mainly to a brace of key trebles from 18 year old David Chive and 6 points apiece from Davis and Richards. Two highlights included some great team work giving Rockets a 15 point lead at 60-45 and a crucial defensive rebound from Davis which saw the ball quickly out to Carr who lifted a ball high over the basket for Davis to come flying in and score with an alley-oop. With just a couple of minutes to the start of the final stanza Rockets again looked to have control but an unopposed 9 points finish by Liverpool including a 3 point play 0.3 seconds from the buzzer encouraged the hosts having fought back from a 21-10 run to finish the quarter just 8 points adrift at 65-57.

A defensive rebound from Richards stopped Liverpool’s first offence but they did score off yet another Rockets turnover, quickly followed by a jump shot to reduce Rockets lead to just 4 points. A Dixon finish off a Carr assist and a Richards drive eased Rockets out to a 7 point advantage at 69-62 but 3 trebles from Liverpool in less than 2 minutes either side of a Richards floater score saw Rockets stay ahead but by just 2 at 73-71. However yet again Rockets stayed 3 points ahead after a Carr assist to Dixon. But Liverpool would not give up and kept coming and staying within a single score of a win on their home court……and with their treble shooting so effective ( they hit 12 during the game ) , Coach Keane knew his team needed at least a 4 point advantage in the end game scenario that was brewing. 6 ahead with 2 minutes 20 seconds remaining had Rockets 6 in the lead but another Liverpool treble brought them closer to their goal. Carr scored but Liverpool replied immediately . A Richards treble effort rimmed out and Liverpool stroked their twelfth treble to get within that single score at 88-86 with 16 seconds left on the clock. Liverpool took a time-out but Rockets stopped their offence and Chive was fouled as he took down the rebound taking him to the line whee he hit 1 from 2 so Rockets led 89-86 but Liverpool had the ball and probable final play. Focus and high intensity defensive was the order of the day and Carr made the crucial block and went to the line for the final penalty shots. 1 from 2 made the final score 90-86 in a most competitive and rewarding game for Rockets. Still much to work on for Coach Keane and his coaching team but they stay second in the league with a 5-1 record.

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 27 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals with Liam Davis having a second consecutive double double by hitting 16 points and taking down 13 rebounds besides making 3 assists. David Chive hit 15 points including 3 trebles and made 4 assists whilst A J Carr was very influential with 15 points 8 rebounds and 7 assists. Ben Dixon was Rockets 5th player in double figures with 13 pts and 3 assists.


Date Time League Season
02/11/2019 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


Archbishop Beck Sports College
55 Long Ln, Liverpool L9 7BF, UK

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.

Rockets looking to make it back to back wins with trip to Newcastle

Reading Rockets (10-7) will be looking to make it two wins on the bounce on Saturday afternoon when they make the long trip North to face Team Newcastle (5-12), 3pm tip-off. The Rockets put an end to their three game losing streak last weekend when they comfortably defeated Bradford Dragons 100-60 to get back to winning ways.

Saturday’s match-up will be the first between the two teams this season with last year’s series split. Rockets won their opening game of 2017-18 with a 72 -68 away win before Team Newcastle won in Reading -67-63. Despite both teams being at different ends of the table, the Berkshire outfit will endure their longest trip of the campaign having only won one out of the last four whilst Saturday’s hosts are struggling for form only winning one in their last nine outings.

Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane was pleased with his team’s defensive display last weekend and expects further progression this week ahead of Saturday’s trip to Newcastle. The Irishman said,

“Having not played Newcastle yet this year it is somewhat unknown territory and they have definitely had a interesting season so far. They have shown they can beat the best teams in the league one week and come out on the wrong end against weaker teams. It is really unpredictable what we will face, however we will control the controllables and that is our defence and commitment to playing our style of game.”

Rockets go into Saturday’s game with better injury news. Point guard Adrian O’Sullivan got some valuable minutes under his belt in last Sunday’s win against Bradford and looks set to feature again for this weekend’s match-up. Captain Danny Carter showed no adverse reactions to his back injection and is hopeful to now be able to manage his back complaint through to the end of the season. With Under 18 Sam Grant approximately 7-10 days away from returning to training, Coach Alan Keane will have a near fully fit roster to chose from for the first time in 8 weeks as his team look to put their current woes behind them and push on to secure a play-off spot and possibly a top four finish.

Manchester Magic v Reading Rockets – Match Report



Manchester Magic87Loss
Reading Rockets98Win

The first game of 2019 began with Rockets needing some fire and the players looking as though the Christmas pudding had stopped them from getting off the floor and taking rebounds as Magic took down and commanded  the boards, storming into a 17-17 early lead which they extended to 33-19 by the first break. Four trebles and a 3 point play were some of the extent of Magic’s superiority.

With Rockets finding themselves 19-38 down midway through the second quarter, Head Coach Alan Keane had to change many things and personnel switches. These proved most successful as Rockets roared into life taking the second period 24-19 and looking more in the game. A J Carr had proved a handful for Magic as he hit 12 personal points and Trae Pemberton was finding more space but the final play before half time saw Sydney Donaldson receive the inbounded ball as the clock showed less than 10 seconds, used up the time close to the buzzer before driving to score, drawing the foul and

 hitting the penalty shot to lift Rockets as they had a skip in their steps as they walked to the changing room just 11 points adrift with the score 43-54.

The 3 week lay-off was now something of the long past as Rockets powered into the third quarter taking it 30-18 to take a single digit lead at 73-72. Two of Rockets young Academy players were very influential as Sam Grant stroked a brace of trebles and scored with a jump shot whilst Arinze Emeka- Anyakwo made steals, defended the boards well and hit five personal points. Pemberton had found his length and hit three trebles and a pair of floaters to score 13 personal points and help lift Rockets further even with the big American Carr spending much time on the bench with 4 fouls.

A 25-15 final period saw Rockets secure another victory 98 to 87 and lift them to third in the league ahead of the visit of south coast rivals and current second placed Worthing Thunder to Rivermead next Sunday 13th Jan. Magic hit three trebles to stay in contention throughout the fourth quarter but Pemberton was imperious with another eleven point quarter haul coupled to crucial rebounding and steals. Emeka-Anyakwo scored ten personal points and took down a pair of key defensive rebounds as Rockets began to look forward to the 200 mile return journey secure in the knowledge they’re still in the chasing pack seeking the league title.

Top scorers for Rockets were Trae Pemberton with 34 pts.,6 rebounds and 5 steals with Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo hitting 15 pts., taking down 4 rebounds and making 3 steals and A J Carr with 14 pts., and 4 assists plus Sam Grant with his first. 8pts Senior haul and taking down 3 rebounds and making a steal in an impressive forward for the 16 yo who had played a junior Men game some 6 hours earlier in the day and arrived just an hour before tip….surely a game and weekend to remember for Grant.


Date Time League Season
05/01/2019 18:30 NBL Div 1 2018 / 2019


Amaechi BC
226 Wilbraham Rd, Manchester, Manchester M16 8GN, UK