Tag: #rockets

Rockets to take on high scoring Thunder

Reading Rockets (14-9) will be up against one of the leagues highest scoring teams this weekend when they entertain Worthing Thunder at Rivermead Leisure Complex on Sunday, 5pm tip-off. Rockets split last weekend’s games but were victorious in their second encounter as they finally stopped the rot of four consecutive league defeats when they beat Bradford Dragons 86-63 after losing out to Derby Trailblazers the night before 104-97.

This Sunday’s opponents recorded an incredible 80 point victory over relegation threatened Liverpool last weekend as they put 150 points on their opponents to 70 to keep themselves in contention for a top three finish. Runaway leaders Team Solent Kestrels claimed the NBL Division One title after a pair of wins last weekend with Thames Valley Cavaliers almost certain to now claim the runners-up spot in the division.

The meeting between the two teams will be the second of the season with the Rockets claiming an impressive 100-81 away win at the Thunderdome back in December.

Speaking ahead of this weekend’s clash against Worthing, Rockets Head Coach Alan Keane highlighted what a force to be reckoned with this Sunday’s opponents are and the importance of the game at this late stage of the season. The Irishman said,

“Arguably the most potent scoring team in league, Worthing Thunder certainly proved that as they unloaded 150 points last weekend in one game! A team who are capable to have all five players on the floor who can shoot the 3 ball really well.”

“Worthing will certainly stretch the capacity of our defence, however on the other end we will have to be very aggressive attacking the basket relentlessly. An important game for both teams with playoff seedings we should see the best that both teams have to offer.”

Rockets go into this weekend’s game with no new injury concerns and should continue to have a fully fit squad available after an injury-strewn season. All of the Berkshire outfits concerns have returned to full training and game play with Spanish duo Matias Boho and Pau Mayor the latest to be declared fully fit. Coach Keane will be buoyed by the valuable minutes given by academy duo Ross Stepney and Asher Ndah last weekend as well as new signing Leome Francis who has made a positive impact since beginning life in Reading last month.

Rockets will know a win this weekend keeps them right in the play-off mix but defeat for the Reading team will all but consign them to seventh place in the division and a tough quarter-final away trip in the post season to this year’s runners-up. 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

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Match Report – Derby Trailblazers v Reading Rockets



Derby Trailblazers104Win
Reading Rockets97Loss

Other than Sam Grant who’s slowly recovering, Head Coach Alan Keane had a full squad for the away double header weekend starting with high flying Derby who were on a winning streak of 5-0.

It proved a tough assignment especially when one of the league’s best players, Malcolm Smith ,was in outstanding form as he poured in 33 points though Rockets pair of Liam Davis and Nick Richards had 27 and 25 points respectively as Rockets fought back from a disappointing opening half (38 -51 ) but took the second half 59- 53 though the victory eluded them.

Derby raced into a 7-0 lead before Liam Davis hit back to back scores though Leome Francis and Ben Dixon were called for offensive fouls on the dangerous Smith. Smith hit 18 of Derby’s 30 first quarter points with their Spanish guard helping himself to 8 including a rare 4 point play as he stroked the penalty point having hit a wide treble when being fouled. Davis scored 10 of Rockets 19 points in this period but Rockets’ lead scorer Nick Richards was kept quiet.

The second quarter began with Richards being his usual influential self , hitting 9 personal points and giving assists around the court. Though Rockets lost this period 19-21, there were signs of increased hope for the travelling supporters as Rockets got to within 6 points adrift of Trailblazers but then missed a score and Trailblazers hit a treble as Rockets trailed 38-51 at the interval.

Derby shot out of the blocks on the re-start as they hit 6 unopposed points to find themselves 19 up and even though Pau Mayor hit a treble , Derby replied immediately with one of their own. Richards stroked a treble as did Matias Boho and Mayor went 3 from 3 from the free throw line before Ben Dixon stroked a treble and Rockets were a much improved team chasing Derby though still being edged out by 29-28 in the third quarter and finding themselves 66-80 down.
Richards had hit double figures and Rockets hit 9 more points than in either of the two first quarters.

An 11-5 run at the start of the final period had Rockets within single figures of Derby as Rockets’ twin towers of Davis and Francis went to work inside hitting 19 points between them . Unfortunately Derby’s Bowman hit back to back trebles to give Trailblazers a 95-83 advantage with 4 minutes remaining. A Mayor assist to Francis followed by a drive by the Spaniard drew Rockets close again and they reduced the deficit to just 5 with just over a minute to go and the Derby supporters were nervous but then a slip by Smith was adjudged a foul and Derby stayed ahead but Rockets were playing much better and finished on a high taking the final period 31-24 .

Rockets top scorers were Liam Davis with 27, Nick Richards with 25, Pau Mayor with 18 and Leome Francis with 12.


Date Time League Season
07/03/2020 19:30 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


Clarence Wiggins Sports Centre
14 Bracknell Dr, Derby DE24 0BP, UK

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

Match Report – Reading Rockets v Team Solent Kestrels



Reading Rockets78Loss
Team Solent Kestrels110Win

Having lost to the league champions elect in the National Cup Final 4 weeks earlier, Rockets knew what a talented team would take to the Rivermead court, especially as since that date Kestrels had added another excellent recruit in the form of TrayVonn Wright to their roster. Could Rockets match their south coast rivals now they had both Spaniards returning to the court ?

Truth is that this Solent team is improving with and in each competition and having become the first team from Div.1 to secure a BBL Trophy Cup Final spot having overwhelmed Bristol Flyers at Southampton by 36 pts before losing by ten away, the Kestrels appear to be going from strength to strength with no team looking forward to meeting them in the Championship Play-offs next month.

Rockets opened the scoring as Pau Mayor finished with a floater though Solent his three consecutive goals to edge ahead. The outstanding Nick Richards drove for the first of his scores before Liam Davis struck Rockets first treble to regain the lead at 7-6 though that was the last time the Berkshire outfit led despite the valiant efforts of Richards who was the games’ top scorer with 27 points and a subsequent winner of the Nando’s Impact Player of the Game. The game was being played at a fast pace with clinical finishing from Solent who were between 55 and 72% across all scoring stats. Richards stroked a brace of trebles to keep Rockets in touch at the end of the first period though adrift 21-29 but then Kestrels had a 32-15 second quarter to go the locker room 61-36 ahead after commanding the boards and hitting three more trebles as they took control of the game.

Head Coach Alan Keane used the fifteen minute break to correct and re-direct his chargers with Leome Francis scoring six points and competing on the boards as the returning Spaniard Matias Boho stroked a treble but Solent again took the quarter 26-16 with a buzzer beating treble to lead 87-52.

In line with Rockets mantra of giving the young academy guys plenty of court time, it was good to see them contributing with scores and assists against such quality opposition . Rockets scored 50% of their points in the final period moving from 52 to 78 as Mayor and Davis hit 8 points each though Solent hit another 4 trebles to secure another victory and extend their unbeaten run in this Division back to Feb 2019, some awesome record. The final score was 78-110 with Rockets top scorers being Nick Richards with 27 pts., 5 rebounds and a block as Liam Davis hit 15 pts., and took down 6 rebounds and Leome Francis had 11 pts., and took down 8 rebounds. Pau Mayor had 10 pts.,, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.


Date Time League Season
23/02/2020 17:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


24 Richfield Ave, Reading, Reading RG1, UK

Match Report – Leicester Warriors v Reading Rockets



Leicester Warriors83Win
Reading Rockets71Loss

An already injury stricken Rockets side travelled to the Midlands having just heard that joint captain Ed Potter was out with an injury and the ever improving Kivuvu Live was sick. Pau Mayor was shirted up and was keen to try out his Achilles strain but Matias Boho’ knee injury continues.

Warriors opened up an 8-2 gap within the opening exchanges before Nick Richards took down his own offensive rebound to get Rockets troubling the scoreboard. Recent signing Leome Francis had a personal following as he was previously with nearby Northampton and he scored five quick points with an inside move, a coast to coast score and a penalty point to level the game on nine each. The scores were tied on 11 and 13 before Rockets went on a 11-3 finishing run as part of a 20-5 run to lead at the first break 24-16.

Warriors took the second quarter 20-13 having begun this period with a 7-0 run before a Richards tip in kept Rockets ahead by a single point. Academy youngster David Chive stroked the first of his three trebles but Rockets soon found themselves in team foul trouble from which Warriors capitalised. Another Academy player David Obediah took an assist from Liam Davis to score before Davis made a key tip in himself. With the game in a nip and tuck phase, it was anyone’s guess as to who would lead at the interval but that honour fell to Rockets with the slenderest of margins at 37-36.

Warriors’ American guard T J Henderson was on fire as he stroked trebles from all round the arc as Warriors hit Rockets with a storm taking the quarter 31-11 having hit five trebles in this time as Rockets turned the ball over and just couldn’t finish even within a foot of the basket. With a score line of 48-67 it was going to take an almighty effort from Rockets to take the victory in the final period but when Chive hit a treble and Richards drove to score, Warriors looked a little concerned. However Rockets missed four from four from the line whilst Warriors hit all theirs so Rockets found themselves adrift by 17 points after just over three minutes of the final stanza at 54-71. Davis picked up too many fouls so together with Chive was fouled out of the game but Richards and Francis worked tirelessly to keep Rockets close as with Rockets having won the home game by 15 points, with the league being so tight, Rockets wanted to keep the head to head should the league points be level in late March. This they did after Head Coach Alan Keane called his final time -out as a reminder and the guys not only stopped Warriors but also saw Francis score leaving the deficit at the buzzer just twelve at 71-83.

Rockets find themselves in a scramble with 6 other teams vying for a home tie in the Play-offs when they hope to have a fully fit squad .

Top scorers for Rockets were Nick Richards with 26 pts., 7 rebounds and 6 steals with both Rockets’ big guys having double doubles as Liam Davis scored 14 pts., and took down 11 rebounds whilst Leome Francis hit 13 pts., and took down 13 rebounds though Warriors American guards was supreme on the day as he hit 40 pts., took down 9 rebounds and made 5 assists


Date Time League Season
15/02/2020 15:00 NBL Div 1 2019 / 2020


Braunstone LC
A47, Leicester, Leicester LE3 1JN, UK