READING Rockets made a winning start to the 2018/19 season as they battled to an 83-68 victory in their National Trophy opener at Thames Valley Cavaliers.

The visitors led throughout in a complete performance, taking a double-digit lead after the first quarter and not looking back, despite a resilient challenge from the hosts in the second half.

AJ Carr led the Rockets with 27 points, while captain Danny Carter chipped in with 19.

Abdoulaye Sylla was the top scorer for the hosts in the loss, with his 15 points backed up by 12 from Martelle McLemore.

Rockets begin their NBL Division One campaign with a home game against Derby Trailblazers at the Rivermead Leisure Complex on Saturday (5pm).