Final Déjà vu for Carnegie basketball
by Joseph Fitzpatrick
Same place. Same teams. Same result. For the second time this season Reading Rockets prevented Leeds Carnegie from acquiring their first piece of silverware in two years, beating the Yorkshire team 88-63 in Sunday's Division One Playoff Final.
The final, held in the Amaechi Centre Manchester, was unfortunately for Leeds, a repeat of February's Men's National Trophy Final, which saw Reading triumph76-59.
Leeds had reached the final in dramatic circumstances beating the number one seed, and runaway league leaders, Bristol Academy Flyers, 85-81 in overtime, in the previous day's semi-finals.
Zoltan Supola was the standout performer, pouring in 24 points, and he was aided by Americans Mike Medved and Adrian Fenyn who combined for 32, with all three helping to extend their Carnegie careers by another day.
However, there was to be no fairy tale ending as Reading put on, according head coach Samit Nuruzade, probably their finest display of the year. The Berkshire team led every quarter and Carnegie were never able to formulate a substantial comeback attempt. Supola, Fenyn and Medved again led the scoring in their last game for Leeds.
There was also disappointment for the Leeds Carnegie women's team who were beaten convincingly by eventual champions City of Sheffield Hatters, 87-53, in Saturday's Division One semi-final.