Reading Rockets into the next round of the cup

Despite it being the 4th round of the National Cup, it pitted the only two undefeated teams in Division 1 together. Christian Alexander began as he does nearly all games with an inside score coupled to four penalty points from the free throw line before Elijah Maynard hit a brace of back to back trebles.

When Zack Powell scored with a slam dunk, Birmingham called a time-out after a Rockets 11-0 run. Reading extended their lead to 15 points as Captain Lewis Champion stroked the first of his four trebles and Powell scored with a jump shot. The home supporters gave a warm welcome to returning guard Jermiah ‘Flip’ Jenkins and he showed his value to Reading as he converted a pair of free throws and saw the hosts with a 29-22 opening quarter advantage.

Lewis Champion of Reading Rockets. Reading Rockets VS COB Rockets in NBL Cup Action

The second period almost mirrored the first as Reading took it by 30-23 extending their lead at the interval to 59-45. Thanks mainly to some stout defense keeping Birmingham adrift by double digits throughout and hurting from a brilliant buzzer beating treble from Mitch Clarke.

Ex Reading Rocket Sam Toluwase top scored for Brimingham at the break with 16 points but Rockets defense had kept the rest of his team under lock and key.

When the improving American Elijah Maynard stroked a treble to open the third quarter score, Alexander spun and finished inside before Maynard made a 3 point play seeing Rockets ahead by 22 points at 67-45 at the end of a 15-0 run. Birmingham responded with a 10-2 run but Zack Powell shone brightly in the last minutes before the final period with a jump shot, an offensive rebound finish and a 3 point play giving the Berkshire outfit a 76-59 advantage as the fourth quarter beckoned.

Would Rockets become the only undefeated team in the league or could Birmingham make a comeback? The Midlands team hit 5 unanswered points to cut the deficit but cometh the hour, cometh the man…in the form

Lewis Champion of Reading Rockets. Reading Rockets VS COB Rockets in NBL Cup Action

of Lewis Champion who had a purple patch of stroking three trebles interrupted only by him taking a brace of charges too. Finleigh Porter scored well inside finishing some exquisite Reading plays as they eased their way to a 25-19 final quarter and a place in the 5th round of the prestigious National Cup. A home draw is certain on Sunday 3rd December though Reading won’t know their opposition till next weekend.

Top scorers for Rockets were Zack Powell with 21 pts, 7 rebounds and 3 steals as Elijah Maynard hit 18 pts and Fin Porter 15 pts With Lewis Champion hitting 13 pts and Chris Alexander 12 pts, 5 of Rockets players were double digit scorers.

Finleigh Porter of Reading Rockets. Reading Rockets VS COB Rockets in NBL Cup Action