Match Report: Rockets Men 72-101 Derby Trailblazers

Rockets fell to the high-flying Derby Trailblazers 101-72 in tough defeat in Nechells Wellbeing Centre on Saturday evening.

We went into the game sat 10th in the division with a 4-6 record, as we took on a Derby side that sat 2nd on a record of 8-2.

New signing Jayden Grewal started the game making his Rockets debut.

The first quarter started well for Rockets as Martyn Gayle opened with a  driving layup followed by a three to put Rockets 5-2 up inside 90 seconds.

New signing Jayden Grewal looked really impressive in the opening stages, driving to the basket and having success from three point range.

We looked clinical early on with Martyn Gayle and Sam Toluwase both hitting threes to keep us in front.

It was a tense end to the first with Derby continuing to fight to close Rockets narrow lead.

Rockets were prolific from beyond the arc as Grewal and Jackman joining in with three pointers of their own.

The quarter ended with Rockets holding a slim, but deserved, 2 point lead,25-23.

The second quarter started, and Rockets continued to keep their narrow lead. Both sides looked dangerous, and Derby had a reply for every Rockets bucket.

Gayle and Toluwase looked dominant on both ends as they rebounded well and showed hustle on defence.

Derby tied the game up 31-31 with just over 5 minutes to go.

Sam Toluwase hit a standing dunk followed by a Jackman and-one play to settle Rockets nerves.

With 2 minutes to go Rockets fell a point behind,41-40, but another spell of three point shooting, this time courtesy of Nathan Ramsdale-Owen and Sam Toluwase, regained Rockets lead.

Coach Nuno’s side went into half time with their slim 2 point lead, 46-44.

The third quarter started, and Derby came out the blocks on fire, they had a flurry of three point shots that stunned Rockets.

Derby showed why they sit 2nd in the league as they continued to look dangerous on offense, they took a 10 point leading 63-53 and Rockets had to chase.

Sam Toluwase hit a huge driving dunk to lift Rockets morale.

Coach Nuno’s side continued to fight valiantly but the third quarter ended 76-66 with Rockets having a 10 point mountain climb.

The final quarter started with Derby continuing to be lethal from three point range.

Mid-way through the quarter Derby took a commanding 20 point lead as Rockets struggled to find a response.

The game ended with Rockets falling by 29 points, 101-72.

A game was a tale of two halves, Rockets took the game to Derby in the first half and looked commanding on both ends, but in the second half, particularly the third quarter, Derby showed why they sit with a 9-2 record.

Rockets standout performances came from Sam Toluwase who led the team in scoring with 19 points. Orlan Jackman put up a double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Rockets host bottom of the league Barking Abbey next weekend.