A DEPLETED Swindon Shock suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend, losing 77-71 away to Reading Rockets in the National Shield.

Following an opening win at home last week, player-coach David Colclough was hoping to make it two from two in Berkshire.

Colclough was side-lined again, as he continues to have registration problems, while Antonio Wilburn and Lee Hobbis were also missing from the games starting five.

A number of youngsters filled the void left by the more experienced campaigners, with a total of five missing from the court. Colclough says it was a good exposure to the game for the team’s more youthful contingent, including Ollie Swann, despite the loss.

“It was a bit disappointing but not too bad considering the team which we took up there,” said Colclough.

“I can live with the defeat. I called Ollie out in training on Tuesday and said he had a bit of a growing up moment in the game.

“He had a few bad plays in the game, so I had to pull him from it. We had a talk on the bench about his performance.

“I said he needed to talk more, be vocal and more active, at that point we were down by 10 points and he brought us back into the game.

“He got a couple of steals, a couple of rebounds and got to the free throw line a couple of times so within three minutes we were back within two.”

The Swindon chief admits it is always frustrating to see a cup run come to an end at its earliest point, but thinks there is nothing wrong with blooding the youngsters in before the regular season starts. Shock have their second round National Cup match with BC Medelynas London on Sunday, and Colclough believes it will be a great workout before the Division Three South side begin their league campaign.

“These games, especially the road ones, are good for the young guys to get experience because in the regular season they won’t play as much,” he added.

“If they get this experience now and they show they’re ready they can play in the regular season.

“We should have most of the players for our cup game, after we lost our response in training was very good.

“Everybody was focussed and we were producing the same levels to last season, which was good to see.”