Rockets V NTU | Game Preview
05/03/2021

Reading Rockets V Nottingham Trent

Saturday 6th March 2021

1:00pm Tip-off

National Basketball League Division 1

Rockets (3-4) will be looking to continue our run of form following our terrific performance in our 91-73 win over the Worcester Wolves in this week’s game against Nottingham Trent University (NTU). The game will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Rockets have been working really hard in the training and it showed last week in the match. The whole team have improved dramatically. What has been really impressive from the Rockets is the contributions off the bench from all members of the team. In the last three games, the bench has provided 30.7 points per game, after fantastic displays from academy stars Eva Luzon, Saioa San Francisco, as well as captain Candela Hermida providing the Rockets a lot of firepower off the bench to be deployed at key moments in games.

Also, off the bench are the two sharpshooters Mia and Daisy Thompson. Combined they are averaging an amazing 38.5% from behind the 3-point line and have led the Rockets to 35.3% from 3-point range in the last 3 games.

On the defensive end, the Rockets are one of the best on-ball defenders in the league. They league the lead in steals (14.7 SPG) this season, and will be looking to swarm the NTU women, applying lots of pressure to force turnovers.

NTU (3-6) have been struggling to find wins. are currently on a 5-game losing streak, but they will be certainly looking to turn this around. It is also only their second game in 2021 and so will be looking to get the rest of the season back on track.

NTU’s last win was actually against the Rockets in the tight 71-66 reverse fixture. It was a fantastic performance from Mady Burdett who finished the game 20 points shooting an extraordinary 66% from the field and from behind the 3-point line, as well as attaining 3 assists and 3 rebounds.

Despite their poor run of form, Coach Luque is cautious of this NTU side. “NTU is a team with a great balance inside and outside. They move the ball very well and quickly, finding a lot of advantages taking free shots or playing the ball inside. In addition, they have some players and players with experience, and that’s always is dangerous.

He is also stated that the emphasis will be on defending well and taking the opportunities that great defence brings:

“Like last game, we are going to be focusing on our game and philosophy, we know where we can have an advantage. For us the most important aspect of the game is defence, and we are going to keep pushing ourselves on the defensive court. On offence the team is going step by step and the girls are getting our ideas really well. After our performance last week, the girls are excited and can’t wait to play again.”.

Coach Haynes has been highly impressed with the team’s attitude to training in recent weeks. “After such a great 2 weeks of practice that lead to a strong performance against Worcester, our focus this week has been to keep the wheels rolling and maintain our momentum. We have continued to emphasise our principles and prioritise the technical development and tactical awareness of each individual.” He also expressed admiration for this week’s opponent’s fighting spirit, “Nottingham Trent University is a competitive side that can compete with anyone in the league. We are looking forward to seeing our girls take on the challenge and produce another strong team performance.