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"The Weakness of Toby and Shorty" is the twenty seventh chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Nao observes the match and then calls for a timeout. She instructs the girls' team to do a zone defense, a formation to surround your own goal and protect it. Chiaki informs Momoharu that the girls' team this time are not focusing on guarding Sora. Hanazono passes the ball to Kurumatani and tells him the key to defeating zone defense is having a capable scoring shooting guard. Sora heads toward the three-point line and tries to scores, and Madoka quickly guards him. Kurumatani realizes that this isn't zone defense; it is Box and One. It is a formation that involves 4 people defending inside the zone (paint area), and the remaining one usually a tall player defending against the dominating scoring player.

Box and One defense

Nao, during the timeout, informed Madoka that in the Box and One formation, Sora might try to score from inside. She should remain calm and let her other teammates stop him. According to the plan, Sora confidently tries to score from the inside, Youko blocks him, and now the real match between the two sides begins. Madoka has the ball and sees a frustrated Sora, and she confidently passes the ball to her teammate Youko. A confused Sora tries to stop her; Natsume gets angry at him and informs Sora he should stay on his mark and not chase after the ball. Youko passes the ball to Madoka, and she uses her height as an advantage against Sora and scores. Kurumatani then sees his teammates are nowhere near inside the paint area. Natsume informs Sora that the girls' team purposely dragged him underneath the goal, and it is called isolation.

The match resumes, and Sora tells himself this feels like Shinmaruko High all over again. Natsume has the ball, and Youko is guarding him. During the timeout, Nao informed her that Kenji, with his speed, will try to pass through 4 of her teammates. They should seriously guard him against his mid-range shooting. Kenji tries to go for a quick basket, but 3 defenders are guarding this time. Nabe signals him to pass the ball, Natsume ignores him and gets himself in an offensive foul. Momoharu tells Kenji that what he did was too reckless and should have passed the ball.

Upon seeing Kenji's offensive foul, Nao informs that Natsume's sense of responsibility as a forward supports his confidence. The amount of talent he has can sometimes become a weakness. The girls' team has possession of the ball, Youko passes to her teammate Sayuri, and scores the three-pointer. Madoka then celebrates with her teammates. A frustrated Natsume informs his colleagues that this is all Nao's doing. Chiaki informs his teammates not to worry; he has a plan up his sleeve.

Characters

Reference

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