READING Rockets made a bad start to their NBL Division One campaign as they lost 94-84 at home to Derby Trailblazers on Saturday evening.

Rockets struggled in the first two quarters and went into half-time trailing 50-35, and despite battling back bravely, they could not overturn the deficit.

Trae Pemberton was the stand-out performer for Rockets as he contributed 30 points, while AJ Carr added 11 and captain Danny Carter 10.

A disappointed Pemberton admitted: “It was a rough game for us. In the first half, we didn’t come out to play; they really brought it to us and built a 15-point lead.

“That lit a fire under us for the second half and we performed better and made some shots. In the end, it was too much of a deficit, but we’ve got to move from here.”

Talking about his time at Rockets so far, Pemberton added: “It has been an unbelievable experience for me.

“It’s a pretty young team, which is different for me, but I love it. The town is great, the team and the atmosphere is incredible with a family feel. I fit right in.”

Rockets visit Worthing Thunder on Saturday.

THERE was more success for Reading Rockets women, who eased past Barking Abbey 77-44 in their opening game of the season.

Captain Maike Delow said: “Our performance was a good start to the season, and we can be proud of the game we played.

"There is still a lot of potential to improve. We will enjoy this moment, but will put in another week of hard practice to be even better next weekend.”

The women will face Anglia Ruskin University behind closed doors at the John Madejski Academy on Saturday.