READING Rockets will travel to the capital to open up their NBL Division One campaign this Saturday (5.30pm) when they face last season's NBL Division Two runners-up Westminster Warriors. The Reading team had their first official pre-season last weekend against fellow NBL Division One outfit Essex and Herts Leopards and were victorious 97-74.

Rockets finished in sixth position in England’s top league last season with a record of 14-12, while their opponents finished in second place in the second tier, winning 14 games and losing five.

Rockets head coach Alan Keane is looking forward to the upcoming season and has really enjoyed getting to know his new-look squad ahead of the trip to Westminster.

The Reading play-caller said: “What excites me most about Division One this year is the group of players we have this season.

"With many new faces and some returning it looks to be an exciting group to work with. The journey will be unique and diverse for each player, but no doubt challenging and rewarding.

“The league itself looks very competitive which is a great prospect for us and one we are relishing.

"Westminster have come back into Division One and I am sure they will be hungry to start their season well, so we will need to be mindful of this, but our sole focus is to be the best we can be in each moment and that’s what we will be striving for come Saturday’s game."

Rockets go into Saturday’s match-up with no fewer than five debutants.

Nick Richards, Ben Dixon, Pau Mayor, Liam Davis, and Mattias Boho Sayo will all suit up for the Reading team for the first time, while Ed Potter returns to the fold after a year’s absence.

Rockets also has a heavy academy presence in their ranks with Sam Grant, David Chive, David Obediah and Asher Ndah looking to be in action for the Rockets top team with James Jolly and Ross Stepney also ever present.

Having scored 41 first-quarter points in last weekend’s friendly, the Reading team will be looking to start their league campaign in a similar fashion with Keane taking the helm for his second season alongside the new coaching team of Ciaran Dunne and Dan Lloyd.