City of Birmingham Rockets Men’s First Team suffered defeat at the hands of Encon Derbyshire Arrows at Nechells Wellbeing Centre on Saturday evening in front of our second largest home crowd of the season so far.
In the absence of Head Coach Paul Douglas, Assistant Coaches Steve Dudley and Dominic took charge of the team under the tutelage of Coach Peter Mintoft.
A 13-25 first quarter performance would be a sign of things to come, however, as we struggled to dent Derbyshire’s early lead for the remainder of the game.
Faaris Mughal started the second with a three as the Rockets started the period forcing three straight turnovers from our visitors as we looked to force our way back into the game.
Vasile Pirvu continued the Rockets’ early positive start to the second showing great tenacity to get the reverse layup to go under heavy Derbyshire interference.
A host of missed Derbyshire free throws, thanks in part to the incredible noise of the Rockets fans, kept us in contention as Derby once again threatened to impose themselves onto the game.
Louis Rogerson-Evans snuck in around the back of an unsuspecting Arrows defence for an easy two before Steph Kontopyrgos did well to commit his defender before claiming the simple basket.
Despite this slight uptick in offence, Rockets largely struggled for consistency on the offensive end in the game’s opening two quarters, with Matt Parker top-scoring for that period in the game with six points.
Parker would go on to suffer an injury in the third which limited his participation for the remainder of the game.
Derbyshire would extend their lead in the final two quarters, despite a slight upswing in our attacking fortunes, with good ball movement and slow defensive rotations contributing to our visitors’ joy on the attacking end.
As we entered the final minute, Derbyshire struggled to deal with our increased intensity as the crowd’s energy transmitted itself onto the court, but it was too little too late as Faaris Mughal’s fast break and split free throws failed to make a truly intrusive dent into Derby’s advantage.
A late Derby triple took them over the 80-point mark on a frustrating evening for our first teams.