READING Rockets relied on a combined 78-point effort from Trae Pemberton, AJ Carr and Sydney Donaldson as they put on an offensive masterclass to hammer Hemel Storm 117-95 in their National Trophy Pool C clash on Sunday.

After a tight first quarter ended with Rockets 24-22 to the good at Rivermead, Alan Keane’s squad blew Hemel away with a 37-21 second quarter to build a 61-43 lead they would not relinquish.

The two sides shared 25 points apiece in the third stanza, with Rockets again re-asserting their authority in taking the final quarter 31-27.

Pemberton (pictured)was the star man for Rockets, contributing a season-high 32 points – including seven trebles – along with five rebounds, while Carr bagged 25 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists.

Donaldson was no less impressive, chipping in with 21 points and three assists, while Adrian O’Sullivan also excelled with 18 points, two rebounds and a trio of assists.

With captain Danny Carter missing through injury, Academy players made up half the Rockets team with excellent contributions from Arinze Emeka-Anyakwo, who almost had a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while David Chive scored six points, gave four assists and made three steals. For Hemel, skipper Bode Adeluola starred with 19 points and eight rebounds.

The victory leaves Reading 2-0 at the top of their pool, knowing a win against Essex Leopards will qualify for the semi-finals in January.

Head coach Keane will miss this Saturday’s NBL Division One trip to Thames Valley Cavaliers, and the National Cup game at Manchester Magic on Sunday, as he is in Spain as part of his commitments with the John Madejski Academy.

His assistant, Josh Thorne, will take the reins, with Keane set to return for the double-header against Leicester Warriors and Bradford Dragons the following weekend.