RECOGNITION: Rockhampton Rockets players Mylique Prior, Baylin Janes and Jimmy Mitchell and Cyclones players Christina Boag, Akaysha Muggeridge and Aaryn Ellenberg in the specially designed uniforms they will wear this weekend in support of NAIDOC Week.
RECOGNITION: Rockhampton Rockets players Mylique Prior, Baylin Janes and Jimmy Mitchell and Cyclones players Christina Boag, Akaysha Muggeridge and Aaryn Ellenberg in the specially designed uniforms they will wear this weekend in support of NAIDOC Week. Allan Reinikka ROK3180718abasket

It's make or break for the Rockhampton Rockets

BASKETBALL: It all comes down to the last 48 minutes of the regular season for the Rockhampton Rockets.

If they win against the South West Metro Pirates on Saturday they're into the play-offs. Lose and their season is over.

For the Rockhampton Cyclones, who have already locked in a top-eight finish, it's all about building momentum heading into the finals.

The two Rocky teams will wear specially designed Indigenous-themed uniforms in support of NAIDOC Week in their last home games of the year.

Rockets coach Neal Tweedy said it was make or break for his team.

"It's a huge game for us. South West is a quality team, they're in the top eight and we really have to play well to secure that position,” he said.

Tweedy said the Rockets were relieved to hold their fate in their own hands, something they thought might not be the case after their loss to Ipswich Force last week.

Rockets coach Neal Tweedy: If we can keep the score to the 70, 80 mark we've got enough points in us to win.”
Rockets coach Neal Tweedy: If we can keep the score to the 70, 80 mark we've got enough points in us to win.” Chris Ison ROK290417crockets3

"We were disappointed with that loss. I thought we played pretty well in the first half but didn't come out of the change rooms unfortunately, which has been a problem for us all year so we'll need to fix that this week.”

Tweedy said the Rockets needed to focus on rebounding and reducing turnovers, as well as limiting South West's scoring.

"If we can keep the score to the 70, 80 mark we've got enough points in us to win,” he said.

The Rockets have mixed it with and bettered the competition's best this season but several losses to lower-ranked teams had proven costly.

"We've beaten Mackay who's number one, we were competitive against Townsville and we beat Logan, who's third, so we've beaten all the top teams,” Tweedy said.

"We've probably lost some games to the lower-ranked teams that we should have lost.

"I think anyone who makes the top eight is going to compete and (for us) it's just a matter of getting there.”

Rockets' player Leon Christensen is expected to have a big influence on this weekend's must-win game.
Rockets' player Leon Christensen is expected to have a big influence on this weekend's must-win game. Chris Ison ROK190518crockets6

Tweedy said Leon Christensen, who returned to the court last week after being out for nearly 10 weeks, could provide the X-factor for the Rockets.

"He played his first significant minutes back off injury last week and that's going to be good for us coming into Saturday night's game.

"He just gives us a little bit of tempo and speed and that's probably what we're looking for at the moment, to get up and down rather than a slow game.”

The Rockets will hit the court at 8pm Saturday, with the Cyclones playing at 6pm.



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