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"The Best and Worst Beginnings" is the forty second chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Madoka praising Sora for his efficient defensive skills

The first quarter is about to end, and Natsume displays his superior performance in the match by scoring consecutive three times in a row. However, Kitasumi High doesn’t get fazed by it, and Katori tells his teammate, Tachibana, to end the quarter on a positive note by scoring another basket. Tachibana tries to score but is unsuccessful. The first quarter ends, and the match is tied with a score of 17 to 17. Madoka praises Sora for his efficient defensive skills; Sora thanks her and smiles while heading towards his bench. Nabe praises that their team is doing well against Kitasumi High and compliments Natsume for scoring three times in a row. Upon hearing, Nao informs her squad not to get ahead of themselves and that the match is at its beginning stages. Going on forward, the game's situation can change instantly and further states that Kitasumi High team is a slow starting offensive team. So, they should be careful.

Nao instructs her squad that their defense in the first quarter was great; however, going forward, they need to keep scoring; otherwise, they will fall behind. Upon concluding, Nao replaces Nabe with Yasuhara and instructs Sora to keep up with his defense against Tarou. Kitasumi High coach Koga is impressed with Kuzuryu High’s performance and praises Nao’s coaching skills. He then instructs Tarou to stop trying to be offensive in the next quarter. Tarou disagrees and tells his coach that if he doesn’t score, then who will cause all their teams' offense depends on him. Koga agrees but informs him that the little one, referring to Sora, is marking him, and he hasn’t been able to shake him off. Tarou accepts the challenge and tells his coach that he will give his best effort to lose Sora’s guard on him.

Chiaki Hanazono backhand pass

The time-out finishes the second quarter is about to start; both teams head to the court. Masahiro and Nabe try to encourage their nervous friend Yasuhara. One of the freshmen at Kitasumi High questioned Koga why he was being hard on Tarou and should have known that saying such things would make him angry. Koga replies that he did that purposely so Tarou can get energetic and fired up. It's Kuzuryu High’s possession; Chiaki has the ball. Katori, while guarding Hanazono, notices that Chiaki is a passing specialist, and he should be careful. Chiaki, to lose his mark, does his signature backhand pass. Momoharu efficiently sees his brother’s pass and goes on offense to score. Everyone at the court is amazed by Chaiki’s point guard skills. Chiaki helps his teammate Yasuhara by setting up an efficient screen. Momoharu passes the ball to Yasuhara; being nervous at the given moment, Yasuhara mises his layup. Natsume notices it and tips the ball in. Kuzuryu High leads the match by two points with a score of 19 to 17.

A determined Kitasumi High try to answer back, Katori instructs his teammate Tachibana to go on offense. Tarou sees Sora guarding him again, and then furiously stares at him. Sora notices Katori’s pass to his teammate Hasebe and efficiently steals it. Sora then does a fake layup and passes it to Yasuhara, who then scores. Everyone at Kuzuryu High celebrates Yasuhara's first basket. Koga, to energize Tarou, jokingly informs Kabachi that he is thinking of subbing him. Tarou angrily stares at Koga and confidently tells his coach not to worry, and going forward; he will prove his worth to everyone on the court.