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"Nao's Basketball" is the twenty ninth chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

The girls' team wins the practice match with a score of 14-5. A demotivated Nabe, Yasuhara, and Chucky inform their colleagues we have lost all our motivation. Sora tries to encourage his teammates and tells them not to be discouraged, and they need to keep practicing to improve. To confirm his suggestion, Sora then asks Nao and notices she has left the basketball court. A frustrated Nao tells herself that she only wanted to test the skills of the Kuzuryu High boys' team and not demotivate them. While walking, she accidentally steps on a rain gutter. Nao then heads towards a nearby park to clean her shoe. Sora meets Nao, informs she forgot her notebook on the basketball court, and asks what happened to her leg. Kurumatani then assists in cleaning her muddy shoe with the park's water tap.

Nao Nanao's notebook

Nao apologizes to Sora that she didn't mean to demotivate his team and only wanted to test their skills and informed similar incidents as this happened in middle school. She has a habit of going overboard sometimes. Nao decides she might not be a suitable candidate as being the manager for their team, and upon leaving, wishes Kurumatani and his teammates' good luck. Sora notices that Nao again forgot to take her notebook and decided will return it to her the next day. At the basketball court, Chiaki, upon hearing that Nao has resigned as the clubs' manager, becomes depressed. Sora asks Hanazono, are you also deciding to quit. Momoharu informs his brother that he needs to find a purpose or goal in life. Kenji tells his teammates not to worry, and they should move on; a manager shouldn't act like a coach. Sora gets a bit frustrated and informs Natsume that Nao did that to test their skills. Upon listening, Kenji tells Kurumatani that she wasn't even an official member of her basketball team. Natsume further explains the most crucial competency (skillset) for a coach is that person should have been a player first. That knowledge then cultivates in improving the team and informs he doesn't want to receive instructions from an inexperienced person.

Nao officially becomes the manager of the Kuzuryu High basketball team

Kurumatani disagrees with Natsume's judgment, and an argument takes place between the two. Satsuki tries to stop them, and Nao's notebook falls to the ground from Sora's basketball shorts pocket. Seeing all the detailed notes, all the boys' team members are amazed that Nao is a comprehensive individual in analyzing basketball. Yasuhara noticed that Nao has even written down his weaknesses and strengths. Madoka then corrects Natsume that Nao is an experienced basketball player and started playing the sport at a young age. She switched to the role of a manager in the second year of middle school. Momoharu then questions Madoka as to why she decided to become the manager. Yabuchi informs she gave up on playing the sport due to her small physique and accident-prone deficiencies. Upon hearing, Sora comments that if we go by Natsume's advice, Nao is a skilled coach with many years of basketball experience. During their conversation, Nao arrives at the court. Madoka questions why she is crying; Nao informs she accidentally fell in the riverbank while trying to catch crayfish with some kids under the Kawasaki bridge. Momoharu informs Nao that he is very impressed with how detailed oriented she is. Sora tells Nao that their team can become better if they follow her advice, and the rest of his teammates joined and requested Nanao to reconsider joining their team as manager. She then gladly accepts their offer and becomes the official manager of the Kuzuryu High boys' team.