READING Rockets picked up their first win of the NBL Division One season with an 83-64 victory at Thames Valley Cavaliers on Saturday night.

Undermanned because of a John Madejski Academy Erasmus trip to Spain, Rockets fell 18-7 behind inside five minutes as Martelle McLemore and Abdoulaye Sylla could not be stopped in the early stages.

However, Reading's stand-in coach Josh Thorne – with Alan Keane absent in Spain – quickly rallied his side as they got themselves right back into the contest, pinching the lead to end the first stanza.

Rockets would not trail again as they edged ahead, before a 19-5 third quarter effectively ended the contest, with the Reading lead ballooning way out to beyond 20.

Sydney Donaldson starred for Rockets with 28 points and 14 rebounds, while Trae Pemberton added 21 points and seven rebounds, and Adrian O'Sullivan supported with 16 points and two steals.

Thorne was pleased to pick up Rockets' first win and said: "We went into the weekend excited to put ourselves to the test with an away double header.

"Our key objectives were to continue on our journey, to focus on excellence in every moment.

"We had a very slow start and TVC came out firing going up 14-2, which needed me to step in, call a time out and refocus."

He continued: "The players responded well by winning the quarter, having a solid second period and holding Cavaliers to just five third-quarter points.

"I was pretty pleased with the performance; having seven players we faced adversity through fatigue and foul trouble so to get a strong win was really pleasing."

Rockets had less success in the second part of their double-header, crashing out of the National Cup with a 76-60 defeat at Manchester Magic on Sunday.

The visitors again made a slow start as they trailed 24-9 after the first quarter, but they rallied superbly to cut the deficit to 38-30 by half-time.

Rockets further trimmed the gap in the third stanza, winning it 21-19 to reduce the gap to only six points, but Manchester put on the after-burners in the final quarter to surge clear and move into the quarter-finals.

O'Sullivan top scored for Rockets with 18 points, while Pemberton added 12 along with six rebounds and three assists.

Donaldson again showed up well, winning 12 rebounds, his side's highest.

Reading Rockets return to league action with a trip to Leicester Warriors on Saturday (3pm), before they visit Bradford Dragons the following afternoon (4.15pm).