- National Teams
Reading Rockets picked up their second piece of silverware this season, with an 88-71 victory over Manchester Magic in the National Trophy Final at UEL Sports Dock on Saturday.
Despite the final scoreline, Magic were never in the game as Reading jumped out to big lead from the opening tip and never looked back.
It was also double MVP honours for Gabriel Diaz-Morera, who added the Trophy MVP to go along with his National Cup MVP from last month. Diaz-Morera finished with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists.
Reading Rockets’ Danny Carter was pleased with the win, and felt they were in control from the start.
“I think they came out a little bit tentative, we made our first couple of shots and I think after that momentum kind of took over,” said the Rockets captain. “They got in foul trouble with their bigs and after that we just kind of rode with that, anytime they tried to make a run we stopped them there. I don’t feel at any stage they’d be able to make a comeback.”
He also added, that they refuse to rest on their laurels, sitting at 13-3 in second place in Division 1.
“The goal is to get the other two; get the league and get the playoffs, we’re reigning league and playoff champions, these are the two (National Cup & National Trophy) we missed out on last year, so that’s the goal.”
In reality, this game was over before it really began as the first quarter ended 27-9 in favour of the Rockets.
Gabriel Diaz-Morera took control of the game early and finished the first half with 18 points, aided by some impressive play from Josh Wilcher, who really had his fingerprints all over the game from the first whistle.
The Magic attempted numerous fightbacks led by Nathan Schall’s never say die attitude on defence but the inside presence of Carter ensured that Reading maintained their lead throughout to secure their second title already this season with an 88-71 victory.
Franc Garcia Garrrido led the Magic with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists.
Josh Wilcher could perhaps feel hard done by as his 17 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists effort wasn’t enough to earn him MVP although he had a stellar outing and really controlled the game from start to finish.
Image Credit: Reading Rockets