READING Rockets (8-3) face one of their toughest weekend’s of the season when they travel to second-placed Worthing Thunder (9-2) in NBL Division One (7.30pm) on Saturday, before visiting Essex and Herts Leopards in the National Cup quarter-finals the day after (3.30pm).

Rockets got back to winning ways last weekend when they defeated Bradford Dragons 78-75 at the John Madejski Academy, and they are now joint third in the table alongside Thames Valley Cavaliers and Hemel Storm.

This Saturday’s match-up against Thunder will be the first encounter of the season between the two teams, while Sunday’s cup clash against Leopards will be the third time the two teams have met already this season.

Rockets have won both encounters to date – a pre-season 97-74 victory and an 81-67 success in the league.

Reading's head coach Alan Keane was pleased with the Bradford triumph, but warned: “Although it’s another double-header for us, we are excited to be playing in these type of games, especially a cup quarter-final.

"But before we put our minds to that game we face a tough Worthing opponent. They are a very guard-orientated team who are putting up big numbers in the league, so we will really need to bring to life the scouting report and be at our best defensively to stem the flow.

"Sunday brings a different challenge in Essex, who are an ever-improving team and were very unlucky not to beat Nottingham on the weekend, losing the game in the last couple of minutes. The difference with this game is that it is a cup game, winner-takes-all.

“It's a great weekend to be a part of and hopefully we will have a near to fully-fit roster."

However, Rockets have a few injury concerns. Spaniard Pau Mayor was missing again last weekend with a thigh injury and it is unknown if he will be able to return to action. David Chive missed last weekend’s victory and will be out of action until the new year for personal reasons.

American AJ Carr sat out all of last week’s practice with flu, but did return for last weekend’s victory and should be fully recovered in time.