READING Rockets, with 15 wins and seven defeats behind them, can secure a top-four finish in NBL Division One this weekend.

Third in the table, they visit the fourth club, Team Northumbria (15-7) on Saturday (4pm tip-off) before going to basement team Lancashire Spinners (0-22) on Sunday (3.45pm).

And Rockets will travel north high on confidence after making it seven wins in a row when defeating then league leaders Team Solent Kestrels 78-66 last weekend with Scotty Hendricks producing one of the best all-round performances by any Reading player this season.

Rockets have defeated both opponents at home this season, winning 84-72 against Northumbria and 107-67 against the Spinners.

Looking ahead to the game in Newcastle, head coach Manuel Peña Garcés commented: “It is always a difficult place to get a win and none more so than this weekend with third place on the line for both teams.

“Preparation for this game will be crucial and if we are able to keep working on being the best version of ourselves and deliver what we know we are capable of, then there is no reason why we can’t secure the all-important win.”

Peña Garcés will be hoping his players can repeat last weekend’s excellent show against Team Solent.

“They put in a much better performance than in some of our recent successes,” he commented.

“Defensively, we were a lot better, but know that this can improve further with more work needed on offence for us to really maximise our potential.”

Rockets always looked in control against the Kestrels, leading 17-4 at one stage before ending the first quarter 23-12 ahead, a scoreline that reflected the effort and determination put in by the players.

However, the National Trophy holders fought back in the second quarter, but they were unable to shut off the Rockets burners and at the halfway stage of a thoroughly entertaining game it was 47-35 with all their points coming from four players.

The third period saw a 9-0 run for Solent but they still trailed 62-51 going in the final break.

Another run, this time of 8-0, reminded Reading they could not afford to switch off with their lead being reduced to six points as the clocked ticked down. But they produced a strong finish to secure a crucial 78-66 victory.

It was another excellent team performance, but the stand-out man was Hendricks with 27 points along with five steals and four assists in addition to taking down five rebounds.

He was ably supported by Sydney Donaldson who hit 19 points, took down eight rebounds and made three steals, while Declan Soukup posted 14 points, made five assist and took down six. rebounds and Tim Gill recorded 13 points and 13 assists along with 15 rebounds.