READING Rockets will look to regroup quickly as they prepare to face Hemel Storm in the National Trophy at Rivermead Leisure Centre on Sunday (5pm).

Alan Keane’s men slipped to a second-straight NBL Division One reverse when they went down 86-79 at Worthing Thunder last Saturday, but will hope to bounce back against Storm having previously beaten Thames Valley Cavaliers 83-68 in their opening Trophy fixture.

Head coach Keane commented: “We eagerly await the Hemel game simply because it’s the next game on the schedule.

“Some may see it as a must-win Trophy game to advance, however, we will approach it as we do every game, which is to commit to every decision we make on the court and learn from the outcome.

“We have come off two difficult losses recently, but both games we left feeling we need to be better in areas we can control. That is our success criteria for this next upcoming game.”

Against last season's play-off champions Thunder, Rockets put in a spirited display before ultimately being outgunned in the final quarter in a game where the scores were tied on 11 separate occasions and both team's biggest lead was 10 points.

The visitors had the lead from tip until midway through the opening period, with point guard Adrian O’Sullivan enjoying his best game to date, until he turned his ankle and played no further part.

Rockets’ 16 year-old Academy point guard David Chive took over his responsibilities and, together with his two other Academy colleagues, the youngster played a major part in containing Thunder’s explosive shooting ability.

A point down at the first break, and then ahead by a single point at the interval, the game went into the final quarter with the two sides tied 58-58.

Rockets kept within two points until the last four minutes, but with the clock not on their side, Rockets had to foul to try and regain possession and Thunder hit nine from 11 from the free throw line to secure the win.

Trae Pemberton led the Rockets scorers with a double double, taking 21 points and 10 rebounds.

AJ Carr followed with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Sydney Donaldson had a purple third quarter scoring 12 of his 14 points.

Captain Danny Carter also had a double double, hitting 13 points and taking down 11 rebounds.