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"Tailwind" is the fifty second chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Madoka meets Yuka Kurumatani

Upon seeing a low-spirited Nao, Chiaki advises Sora to change his shooting guard position to a point guard. Hanazono further stated that he will now focus on getting points for the team. Sora questioned Chiaki’s scoring abilities. Hanazono, respond that he can’t do two things simultaneously. Before the practice match, Nao suggested the above opinion to Sora. Since their team only has two leading point-getters, referring to him (Sora) and Kenji. Making Chiaki switch to another position besides point guard would drastically increase Kuzuryu High’s offense, and the team would become stronger. However, due to Sora’s lack of experience in being a point guard, this idea was kept on hold.

Sora agrees to Chiaki’s suggestion and switches his position to a point guard. While dribbling, Sora urges his teammates to stay calm, relaxed, and score points one at a time. Koga, Kitasumi High instructor, notices the change in Kuzuryu High’s team. An astonished Nao looks at Sora and sees that her team is now following her earlier suggestion. Hasebe, Kitasumi High power forward, urges his team’s point guard, Katori, to switch his position as well. He further comments, their team doesn’t need to worry about high passes anymore.

A confident Masahiro states to Nao that since Chiaki has gone inside the zone area, attaining points for their team would now become easier. Upon hearing, Kenji disagrees with Masahiro's suggestion and states that their team has now lost the ability to make high passes and further comments that Kitasumi High will be marking Sora with tall players. Natsume also questioned Sora’s decision on switching to a point guard role and stated that just because one plays basketball doesn’t mean that person can adapt to any position without actual practice. Note! The Point Guard, also referred to as "leader of the offense," is one of the most demanding positions in basketball. Playing point guard requires excellent ball-handling skills and a thorough understanding of your team's strategy.

Nabe sets up an efficient screen, and Sora quickly passes the adversary’s defense. However, Kitasumi High doesn’t get fazed by it and stops a determined Sora. Upon seeing, Masahiro comments that Sora got cornered and suggested he should have used that opportunity to score. Natsume again disagrees with Masahiro’s idea and explains that Sora doesn’t need to rush because the shot clock is 24 seconds long, and the standard approach for a good offense is to use the allotted time to its fullest. Missing a three-pointer in the first few seconds can be costly. Kenji further explains that the more focused one is on how to move the ball around, the less inclined that person is in trying to score.

A confused Sora passes the ball to his teammates. Upon seeing it, Chiaki complains that it’s a sloppy pass, and he sees the ball heading toward Katori, Kitasumi High point guard. Hanazono then urges Nabe to retrieve it. While trying to attain possession of the ball, Nabe accidentally hits Katori’s hand and gets himself in foul trouble. Chiaki then advises Sora to calm down. Meanwhile, outside the school’s court, Madoka meets her sister Sumi. She introduces Madoka to Sora’s mother. Yuka thanks Madoka for being kind to her son. Madoka tries to invite both of them to watch the match. Sumi turns down the offer and informs her sister that they came out for a short walk outside the hospital vicinity in secret.  Yuka then gives Madoka a wristband and requests her to give it to her son. Yuka then insists Madoka tell Sora that it came from you and not her. Madoka, at first, is hesitant, and then she accepts it. Upon departing, Yuka asks Madoka is her son enjoying playing basketball? Madoka responds yes and states that he is adoring and relishing the opportunity to compete.

Chiaki Hanazono Alley-Opp and Dunks

At the practice match, Sora steels the loose ball. Nabe then sets up the screen, and Sora loses Tarou’s mark. While dribbling, Sora praises Chiaki’s ability as a great point guard, and due to his efficient passes, he has been able to score efficiently, and now it is his turn to return that favor. Sora from the three-point line does an alley-oop pass. Chiaki sees that pass and effortlessly dunks it. Everyone in the gym is astonished by that play. Natsume seems relieved and happy seeing that Sora being a first-time point guard, is managing it well. After doing the dunk, Chiaki tells Sora that his timing was a little off. Sora politely apologizes, and the match is approaching the last stretch of its final three minutes.

Characters

Reference

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