Reading Rockets v Esh Group Eagles Newcastle – Sunday 18th January 2015 – Rivermead Leisure Complex – 4:00pm

Reading Rockets will take inspiration from Tom Cruise heading into their BBL Trophy first-round game against Newcastle Eagles.

Eagles have been in imperious form so far this season, winning 21 of their 23 games, including last weekend’s BBL Cup Final, which has set them in pursuit of another clean sweep of silverware.

But the Berkshire club, who sit third in Basketball England Division One, will not be beaten before they step on the floor, carrying a positive attitude into battle.


“A lot of us having been looking forward to this game for a long time, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said coach Manuel Peña Garcés.

“Last year we faced Sheffield Sharks and we got into the last minute with options, and we used the metaphor ‘David vs Goliath’, right now to play against Newcastle it could be ‘Mission: Impossible 6’


“But as in the Tom Cruise films, at the end it is a possible mission. So we will work on that, we will try to challenge them tactically, it’s the only option.”

Rockets were well beaten last time these teams met at this stage of the competitions back in 2010.

But Garcés believes there is an area where his team can cause Eagles problems, and it is one at the heart of the Newcastle club’s success too.

He added: “Their achilles heel is the player-coach, and we will try to highlight that.


“Fab is great, as a coach and as a player, but to play both roles has to be difficult, we will try to challenge that.

“They don’t normally need to go through the tactical level because they are so great in terms of talent and physicality;

“So we will try to make them to think and to force them to find other options.”

Last time they met:

Reading Rockets 60 Newcastle Eagles 102 (BBL Trophy, Rivermead Leisure Complex, 10/02/2010)

What they say:

Eagles’ Charles Smith: “We start every season wanting to win all four and now that we have the first one, we are the only team that can win them all but we will let other people talk about it we won’t think about it until we have the other two in our hands first.

“We will be prepared for the game the coaching staff will scout them and we will watch film just like we do before every game.”