READING Rockets’ season came to a premature close this week with the suspension and then cancellation of all competitions as the governing body, Basketball England, were forced to act amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

With all of Rockets’ 15 teams coming to a halt, the club released four Division One men's players who were keen to return to their native countries.

American duo Nick Richards and Liam Davis safely returned to the United States with Spanish double act Matias Boho Sayo and Pau Mayor able to return to Spain.

All four players made significant contributions in their first season with Alan Keane's men, who were lying in a play-off spot with three regular season games remaining.

Rockets had also made it to the National Cup final this season, but were beaten by the history-making Team Solent Kestrels who were crowned league champions before the unanticipated end to proceedings for the campaign.

Club Chairman Gary Johnson said: “We had no hesitation in actioning the guys' requests to return home when the season was suspended and I am thrilled all four of them were able to get back to their families.

"Although at the time the season was only classed as 'suspended', the health, safety, and welfare of all our players, coaches, families and others is paramount to us, so it was a no-brainer.

“During this difficult time I want to extend my good wishes to the Rockets family, the basketball community, and beyond in the knowledge although we are in unprecedented times and it’s important to stay safe, we can and will get through this situation.”

Rockets’ Division One Women and academy players from abroad were also able to return to their native countries and families as the 2019/2020 season ended.