“There was a great deal of parity in the playoffs this year,” said Jeff Leider, captain of the Leader Life team.
The parity resulted in five upsets in the nine playoff games. L’Union and Leaderlife finished the regular season in third and fourth place, respectively, and had strong playoff runs to advance to the championship game.
Both teams started off slow, with the exception of LeaderLife guard Ryan Kennedy, who scored eight of LeaderLife's first 12 points. At halftime, LeaderLife held a 42-40 edge.
At the start of the second half, the hot shooting of Leider and Thomas Sanchez allowed LeaderLife to take control of the game, pushing their lead to 12 points.
But with 10 minutes left, L’Union stormed back into the game with the leadership of captain Greg Calvaire and defense of big man Fenel Dorsainvil, who LeaderLife’s Dennis Hot had the tough task of trying to contain all night.
With LeaderLife leading by three with 15 seconds left, L’Union leading scorer Ronald Joinville hit a game-tying three-pointer to send the game into overtime.
In extra time, the hustle of Eric Quintero and big man Hot of LeaderLife Fitness was too much for L’Union, as they took a four-point lead right away and never lost it.
The 10-team league is in it’s 5th year and designed for men under 21 years of age. It featured teams from Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Flushing and Long Island, with players ranging from recreational to varsity high school to Division III college players.