Reading Rockets fall at final hurdle in National Cup Final – Reading Today Online

Christian Alexander of Reading Rockets. MK Breakers VS Reading Rockets in NBL Cup Final Action

In a fast flowing game in Manchester, Reading Rockets fought tirelessly to come back from a 16 point deficit in the final quarter, but were ultimately beaten in the National Cup Final.

Rockets were aware of the strong following of their all-conquering opposition who, though working their way through the lower divisions to join Rockets in the top English league in September, posed a more than serious competitor packed with very experienced players.

The opening exchanges spoke of the game ahead as both defences snuffed out strong plays from the opponents as blocks, stops and just solid defence shone through with neither team scoring for over two minutes.

Reis Pinnock gave a great assist to Chris Alexander to finish inside and get the scoreboard moving but three trebles from Breakers demonstrated their fire power though Elijah Maynard hit a brace to ensure Rockets took the opening quarter 24-19.

Lewis Champion took his customary charge stepping up Rockets defence as Breakers fought back tying the game on 35 each and then finishing period two with a 7-0 run to go to the interval with a 42-35 advantage

Head coach Samit Nuruzade had clearly summoned his team as Maynard leapt high to make a big rejection before Alexander spun to score and Mitch Clarke sent a great assist to Maynard to stroke another treble seeing Rockets close to 40-42.

With Rockets in team foul trouble, Breakers stormed through the end of the quarter with another 10-2 run to enjoy a 65-49 lead going into the fourth period.

A Champion three point play, a Powell drive and a Clarke score suggested they were certainly not playing as a defeated side and believed the Cup could be theirs. A team defensive stop, Clarke making a steal, scoring and then repeating the play stirred the Breakers to call a time -out as Rockets ignited .

Another Alexander score and a brace of Clarke trebles saw Rockets just 4 points adrift at 70-74 with over four minutes remaining.

Breakers hit four quick trebles but Maynard hit his fourth treble before a Powell steal and slam dunk brough pandemonium to the arena as a Rockets win was possible as they had the momentum whilst the deficit was just 80-85, just two shots from victory.

However a tough call saw Breakers hit three from three from the free throw line with just one minute, 36 secs left and though Powell drained a treble Rockets had to foul to try and get the ball back to score but Breakers vast experience came to the fore again as they hit five from six from the line to see out the game.

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