Rockets fell to Barking Abbey 82-78 in a tough defeat at Nechells Wellbeing Centre.
We went into the fixture sat 10th with a 4-7 record. Barking sat bottom of the division with a record of 0-12 looking for their first win of the season.
The first quarter started with Rockets first bucket coming from good ball movement giving Sam Toluwase an open layup.
Barking looked dangerous working the ball inside and driving to the basket. They started the stronger of the two sides and took an early lead as they had success from three point range.
An alley oop from Reiss Faure-Daley to Ben Tew lifted the Nechells crowd.
Rockets had some success from three of their own with Ron Oberia and new signing Jayden Grewal both hitting threes to keep Rockets within touching distance.
Both Oberia and Grewal were causing Barking problems with their drives to the basket.
The first ended with Rockets trailing by 4, 23-19, a close opening 10 minutes that saw Rockets keep themselves in the contest.
The second quarter started slowly for both sides; the opening two minutes saw a single bucket from three point range for Barking.
Rockets fired back with Nathan Ramsdale-Owen and Reiss Faure-Daley taking aim to cut the Rockets deficit. Barking continued to cause Coach Nuno’s side problems from range.
Ben Tew looked strong in the paint as he drew the foul for the and-one play.
The second quarter ended with a buzzer beater layup from Nathan Ramsdale-Owen. Rockets found themselves down by 8 points, 43-35, with lots of work to do in the second half.
Rockets came out after the half time break looking brighter. Ben Tew looked strong in the paint and his post moves caused Barking problems.
Coach Nuno’s side began to build momentum and capitalise on a poor shooting spell for Barking.
Mark Price converted an and-one play and then followed it with a three.
Rockets looked strong on defense for much of the third quarter showing hustle to make it tough for Barking.
Barking found their form at the right time and began to convert their shots in the closing stages of the quarter. Rockets struggled to keep up.
The third ended 60-51 with Rockets trailing by 9, Rockets struggled from beyond the arc and Barking found their rhythm when it mattered.
The final quarter started, and Rockets continued to chase down the deficit.
Karl Teesdale and Nathan Ramsdale-Owen hit a long range threes to keep us in the contest either side of a mid-range jumper from Dume Okibe.
Rockets found themselves falling in and out of shooting form.
Teesdale and Sam Toluwase led the charge as Rockets looked to fight back and close the gap further.
Once again, Barking found their form and pulled away. This time it was Jayden Grewal who led the fight back with back to back layups through heavy Barking traffic.
A three from Sam Toluwase took the deficit to within two to give Rockets late hope.
However, Barking did just enough to win the game 82-78. Rockets fell in a tough to take, 4 point loss.
The highlight Rockets performance came from Sam Toluwase who put up 17 points and 7 rebounds.
Coach Nuno’s side host Bradford Dragons next up on Saturday 3rd February.