Rockets secured their first win of the season in the KitKing Trophy against Nottingham Hoods 113-91.
It was the first game in charge for new Head Coach Nuno Rodrigues and featured Rockets’ summer additions Ben Tew and Orlan Jackman.
It was a slow start for Rockets as the new look Rockets side struggled to find an answer to the Hoods offense who looked really threatening early on and were casuing Rockets problems.
Rockets fought back, drawing fouls and converting crucial free throws to keep us within touching distance.
Karl Teesdale and Orlan Jackman both hit three point shots to close the gap the early Hoods lead began to disappear.
Rockets ended the quarter trailing by 13, 30-17, with a lot of work to do to get back into the contest.
The second quarter started, and Rockets came out firing, with new signing Ben Tew, and Sam Toluwase looked dangerous offensively.
The game also saw the return of fan favourite Mike Price, he was in fine form putting up 13 points in his return to action.
Rockets also showed the high intensity defense and hustle that Coach Nuno asks for, as we put up nine steals in the second quarter alone.
Coach Nuno’s side took the lead for the first time in the contest with two minutes to go in the second, an Orlan Jackman three pointer put us up by one, 50-49.
The second quarter ended with a Karl Teesdale buzzer beater and Rockets went into half time leading 57-52.
Rockets offensive talent was on display with Sam Toluwase and Karl Teesdale starting the third quarter off well.
New signing Ben Tew was forced off in really unfortunate circumstances, as he suffered an awkward landing on his ankle.
We continued to tighten up our defense as the game progressed with Martyn Gayle and Orlan Jackman in particular rebounding well and looking really good on both ends of the floor.
The third ended with Rockets taking a comfortable 11-point lead into the final 10 minutes, we led 80-69.
Rockets showed the depth in their offensive talent with Jordan Dawes and Ron Oberia firing to extend the lead.
Sam Toluwase led the game in points with 26, enough to claim the National Basketball England player of the week accolade.
Coach Rodrigues’ side began to frustrate Hoods as the fourth quarter went on, showing great ball movement to disrupt Hoods’ flow.
Martyn Gayle put up 13 points, six of which came in the final quarter as he showed off his signature three point shooting, much to the delight of a packed Nechells Wellbeing Centre.
Rockets won the game 113-91, a commanding victory that displayed Rockets’ quality on both ends, as well as the heart to fight back from a considerable deficit in the early stages of the game.
After another win, this time an 83-69 away win in Loughbrough on Sunday, Coach Nuno’s Rockets host Milton Keynes in the final KitKing Trophy groupstage game this Saturday at Nechells Wellbeing Centre – click here to get your tickets!