The Wokingham Paper

PREVIEW: Reading Rockets to clash with 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 three 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. 

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