At the locker rooms for Nagaoka, the coach tells the players that their first opponent will be Ryuhoku. He says that even if they have won against them during the Interhigh preliminaries but he didn’t expect that they were able trim down the difference to 12 points.
“Ryuhoku’s line-up is very weak. The scope of its attack isn’t wide. This time, we have to thoroughly suppress that guy. –that number 11.” At the lockers room for Ryuhoku, everyone is stunned to see that Shou is sound asleep on the bench.
Nishiyama exclaims in disbelief for did he forget that they’re going to encounter a strong opponent next!? “Did he forget that he vow that he ‘won’t let the senpai-s retire’!?” Finally, they are on the day of the Winter Cup preliminaries.
As the others try to wake Shou up, Yuki thinks that the schedule of the competition is two days, Saturday and Sunday but today, their opponent is Nagaoka. “So if er lose, then, it is decided that we’ll already retire.. No..no matter what, we must win.”
Soon, the referee is introducing the two teams. As the players bow to each other, Abe cruses for those guys are still quite tall. Himiko thinks that against those players, the senpai-s look petite. Their coach wonders out loud if they can pull off that plan smoothly.
Yuki mentally tells everyone not to lose. Amamiya fails to stop a Nagaoka player from shooting. Shika and others can only curse over how helpless they are against that kind of shooting [<- since the opponents are tall].
Then, Shou got the ball. The opponents are determined to stop him but to their surprise, Shou passed the ball to Tonomura who manages to shoot the ball into the basket. The guys on the bench cheer Tonomura on. Flashback: Shou told everyone about a countermeasure against Nagaoka. “During the practice game before, I noticed that basically, I’m the only one who is scoring.”
Irked Shouji and Amamiya called him stinky brat and let’s go out for a fight. Shou said that it isn’t that, before, he only wanted to score for himself. “But the source of Ryuhoku’s score is not only number 11--” End flashback. A couple of guys call out to Kira and Shizuka in their locker rooms.
While stretching, Kira asks what’s up and don’t run. Shizuka says that’s right. “Our game is in the afternoon so what are we to do if you guys were to get injured before the first game.” One of the guys say no, no..it is bad, Nagaoka..!! The current score for the 4th quarter is Ryuhoku’s 93 vs Nagaoka’s 90. Shou passes the ball to Yashiro. Hatori shouts that there is still 20 seconds left-!!
While some girls are blushing over Kira and Shizuka who came to watch, Yuki thinks that in this game, they constantly surpassed the difficulties, constantly accumulate experience, indeed, they had improved. “Ryuhoku’s future-- it definitely can become even stronger.” Pfft~~ Game over. It’s 95-90 with Ryuhoku winning the game.
Amamiya jumps on Shou and exclaims that it is amazing, such a beautiful pass- Tonomura says that finally, they were able to win against them. Kira comments that it is unexpected for Nagaoka to lose this game and like that, if they win today, their opponent tomorrow will be Ryuhoku.
Shizuka just looks serious and quiet. While Abe and others are shouting and hugging that they won, Himiko happily calls out to Yuki. To Himiko’s surprise, Yuki suddenly hugs her. Yuki happily smiles and says that they won..!
Everyone including Shizuka is shocked to see her smiling. Yuki notices that everyone is staring at her. Thinking that it is bad for she got overly excited, she immediately looks gloomy and says no, right now, they cannot get too carried away. Someone shouts what’s up with that mirage just now!?
Someone nervously asks if Yuki smiled a while ago. Someone exclaims if the manager is actually a living creature who can smile!? Shouji nervously says ah..that was quick and what was that just now. Amamiya mutters that actually, Yuki is very cute..like that..
And, Shou suddenly kicks Amamiya on the butt using his knee. Amamiya angrily shouts what’s up with him. Shou says ha. Amamiya shouts what is that ‘ha’ when just now, he kicked his butt!! So, for now, they were able to break through the first game.
At night, Yuki is nervous that she cannot sleep. She keeps on thinking that even if it is like this, they cannot lower their guard and besides, they’ll encounter Misuzu, a qualifying team. She is also a bit worried about Shizuka.
Shizuka recalls Shizuka telling them that it is better not to be too relaxed. Yuki thinks that’s right, in tomorrow’s competition, regarding the problem about the third years’ retirement. Her cellphone rings. She stutters as she says, hello.
While twirling a leaf, Shou asks how come she is so nervous and it is because she’s thinking of him. Yuki says no, and by the way, there is a competition tomorrow so quickly go to sleep.
Shou says that he was always sleeping until just now. “I dreamt that Yuki-senpai is noisy about wanting that so in the end, I cannot sleep.” There is a scene of Yuki on top of Shou as she mutters his name. Yuki lamely says is that so.
Shou says by the way, did she forget that he told her ‘you’re not allowed to smile in front of other guys except for me’. Yuki nervously says that of course, that is impossible. Shou says that as compensation, he wants to be kissed for 60 seconds.
Yuki angrily shouts, ha!? “Do not say this kind of nonsense things and quickly go to sleep..” Shou lets out a ‘pu’ sound that irks Yuki. He asks if she’ll let him hear that loud and clear voice of hers from the coach seat again tomorrow..? This surprises Yuki. She blushes and says, ya.
Shou says then, goodnight. And he hangs up. Yuki finds it baffling for just because he mentioned the topic about ‘tomorrow’, it made her feel that they won’t lose to anyone. “We should still be able to walk farther...
...A person having this kind of thinking, shouldn’t only be limited to me alone.” The next day, while walking to their locker room, Shouji is slapping his face. Hatori shouts that looks painful so what’s up with him. Shou asks if he is a M[asochist].
Shouji exclaims that it isn’t like that, idiot, it is ‘pumping up’. The coach laughs and says that if they win today, they’ll enter the finals. Looking at the coach, Abe shouts that’s right, and compared to Nagaoka, Misuzu isn’t a bit scary at all..
Then, Shizuka and others glare at them as pass by. Clinging on to Shou, Abe mutters what’s up with that, it seems that he was viciously glared at..!! Nishiyama asks what, what, obviously he is a stalker..!!
Yuki glances back at Shizuka and thinks that there is a very strong nervous feeling that she can almost see its aura so that means that they [Ryuhoku] is also very focused.. She wonders what’s going on for she feels uneasy.
At their side of the court, the coach says that last year, they already won against Misuzu. They reminded the coach that it is this year. The coach says ah, is that so, and even if it isn’t decided, they cannot lower their guard but they mustn’t become overly nervous.
“Just display your normal level and you’ll definitely be able to play a beautiful game.” Everyone shouts, yes!! The coach says, okay, then, quickly go. So the players face-off as the referee announces the start of the game.
Pfft-- Himiko nervously says that it has started. Yuki thinks that it is as the coach said, even if they are afraid, it is also useless whether the opponent is Misuzu or someone else. “--Right now, we can only carry out the Ryuhoku style.” While Shizuka dribbles the ball, Shou asks what’s up with him for some time ago, wasn’t he still having a ferocious look.
Shizuka says that only Shou, he’s the opponent that he absolutely cannot lose to for that person. Shizuka manages to slip pass Shou. Shouji and Amamiya shout that Shizuka is charging towards them so they have to quickly block him. They immediately went in front of Shizuka.
Nishiyama exclaims that is a beautiful defense! Abe shouts that Shizuka has no way of shooting the ball.. To their surprise, Shizuka jumps to shoot sideways. Shouji and Amamiya fail to block the ball. The ball is in. Shizuka’s fangirls scream. Everyone is surprised for Shizuka didn’t break out of the defense yet he managed to directly shoot the ball.
Yuki thinks that if it is the former Shizuka, he would definitely first withdraw and absolutely won’t make that forced shoot.. “Wrong- He is totally different from the former Hakamada-kun.” Shou manages to get the ball. He glances at Yashiro. Shou passes the ball towards Yashiro. Nishiyama and Noda exclaim that’s amazing.
To their surprise, Shizuka managed to intercept the ball before Yashiro catches it. Yuki is surprised for Shizuka saw through that. So, with Shizuka driving his team, Misuzu is leading. “If this goes on, we can no longer do anything.” It is already the second quarter. Misuzu leads with 62 points vs Ryuhoku’s 42 points.
During a time-out, Shouji and the others are breathing hard. Giving them towels, Himiko tells them to please pull themselves together for there is still the second half.. Shouji tells her to look at the score in detail. “That is a 20 points difference.” Amamiya complains that their defense is being ignored, their passes are seen through so what else can they do..
“By the way, what’s up with the sudden temperament change of your stalker friend.” Shou says that Shizuka isn’t his friend, he is just someone he knows. Amamiya shouts that he isn’t asking that. Yuki looks at the scoreboard and thinks that Misuzu totally controlled the pace and right now, they must change the game’s direction. “..but..how are we to do that..”
Nishiyama tells the others that everyone had tried their utmost best and since they are already here, they can exhaust themselves always until the end of the game! “Honestly speaking, winning-whatever no longer matters.. Compared to that kind of thing, the most important is not to leave regrets, right.. Even if it goes like this, that we might retire--”
Recalling what Shou wrote about ‘breaking through all the battles’, Yuki angrily slaps Nishiyama’s back and shouts his name. This surprises everyone. As Hatori asks Nishiyama if he is alright, Nishiyama couldn’t utter a word in shock and aghast.
Clenching her first, Yuki shouts that if he doesn’t want to ‘regret’, then before the last whistle sound, they will always fight for victory!! Yuki doesn’t want to give up for she doesn’t want to change back to the her, who is good at giving up.
Kanda mutters, head [/boss].. Amamiya mutters, big sis.. The referee wonders isn’t she the ‘manager’? Then, turning his back towards Yuki, Shou also wants a ‘pump up’.
Lining up beside Shou, Tonomura wants one too. Shouji and Amamiya also want one. Recalling Shou’s wish to still play with his senpai-s, Yuki calls out Shouji and Amamiya’s names as she smacks their backs hard.
While the audience wonder what’s going on, Yuki also calls out and smacks Yashiro and Tonomura. Of course, Shou got it last. This made him smile. Yuki says then, go for victory. As they shout ‘ya’, the guys confidently head out in the court.
Comment: This chapter made me realize that a lot of the basketball parts of the series are ‘inspired’ from Slam Dunk. ^^; It is in the first game with Nakaoka. That is the last unforgettable game in Slam Dunk TV anime. The coach made a mistake on focusing on the ace but not on the third year player who happens to wear glasses. I start thinking that perhaps, it wasn’t just the coach and that ear becoming big when eavesdropping is the same with SD.
And yes, there are a lot. Slam Dunk’s main team is Shohoku. The one here is Ryuhoku. There is also a love triangle of two guys and one girl. But, the mangaka mixes up their personalities and goals. Shou is the talented and indifferent player (Rukawa) but his goal is from the main character (Hanamichi), playing basketball to win a girl’s heart. Shizuka is the trying hard to become good in basketball (Hanamichi) but his goal is the main character’s rival, to be a great basketball player (Rukawa).
There is also a character trying to win the manager’s heart and ends up being captain. That is most probably Shou, too. There are others but, nevertheless, after this chapter, I want to watch Slam Dunk again. ^^; Anyway, back to the series, Shou must be displeased that a lot of guys saw that smile. =P Shou most probably knew that Yuki is worried and cannot sleep so he gave her a call ^^
I wonder if part of the reason why Misuzu is all fired up is because they overheard what Abe said. Well, I think it is good that the players only got a slap on the back from Yuki instead of their butts =P I guess, it would be embarrassing. So, will that enable them to trim down a 20 point lead? It probably, a tight final score at the end to make things intense ^^ Hm..like win by a three point shot?
Regarding the 60 second kiss, it would be nice for that to happen in their ‘last game’ since by that time, Yuki is officially retired and it is already okay for their relationship not to be a secret ^^ Then, we’ll have another shocked expression from everyone. ^^ Scans by 红莲汉化组
Quote of the day:
Don't ever give up hope until the very last moment. If you give up, the game is already over. ~ Takehiko Inoue, Slam Dunk