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"Vanguard Takahashi" is the seventy first chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Sora shoots the Three-Pointer

Kuzuryu High leads the match with a score of 12 to 6. Shinjo Towa Academy requests for a timeout. Nao urges her squad that their team has the upper hand over their adversaries regarding the individual skill. Kojima informs his good friend Takahashi about Chiaki’s superior basketball skills. Takahashi thanks his friend and confidently states that he will create a window of opportunity for his team. The referee sounds the whistle about the conclusion of the timeout, and a determined Kuzuryu High and Shinjo Towa Academy head towards the court. Chiaki has possession of the ball, and Takahashi is carefully guarding him. Chiba and his teammates notice a different defensive formation by Shinjo Towa Academy, and Chiba comments that it is a man-to-man defense. Tokiwa agrees with his captain and states that Shinjo Towa number 6, Roku has no chance of defending against Kenji. Chiaki, while dribbling confidently, says to Takahashi that a 1-on-1 challenge to him is not enough. A confused Takahashi looks at him, and Chiaki quickly passes his adversary. Masahiro and Nabe praise their friend, and Chiaki easily scores the layup. Kuzuryu High further widens their lead, and the score is 14 to 6.

On seeing Chiaki’s layup, one of the onlookers comments that the chubby afro has excellent basketball skills. A confused Yukio looks at his captain, and Takahashi politely comments that not worry, and he let Chiaki pass him on purpose. Takahashi then advises Ruko that when he is guarding against Kenji, be focused on his movements and not the ball. Shinjo Towa Academy tries to score, the ball touches the rim and misses. A frustrated Kazushi doesn’t attempt to retrieve the ball and furiously head back towards his teams’ side of the court. Yasuhara notices his odd reaction and states that out of everyone on Shinjo Towa Academy, Kazushi is the least skilled member. In concluding, a confident Yasuhara comments that his basketball skills are superior to Kazushi. Kenji sees his senior's overconfident behavior; he disagrees and angrily urges Yasuhara not to get carried away. Sora has possession of the ball. Yanagihara is guarding him and trying his best to keep up. In a spur of the moment, Sora shoots a three-pointer; however, the ball doesn’t go in. An angry Shinjo Towa Academy’s freshman furiously yells at Yanagihara and criticizes him for his poor defense.

An impressed Chiba looks at Sora and states that what's so great about Sora’s skills is that even if he misses some of his shots, it messes up the defense rhythm of the opposing team. He further comments that it looks like the flow of the match won’t change for a while, and in concluding, states that Sora is more sure-footed than and ever, and the success rate of either team lies in the number of scorers they have in their arsenal. Kuzuryu High continues to dominate the game for the next 7 minutes, and they widen their lead further; the score is 18-8. On watching, Nao quietly takes notes and keeps track of her squad. Chiaki being a bit undecided at the moment gives a sloppy pass to his brother, Momoharu. Shinjo Towa’s center, Yukio, sees the pass and steals it. Takahashi then praises his teammate. A frustrated Kenji looks at Roku and notices that his adversary keeps looking at him without glancing at the ball. Kazushi receives the pass from his teammate and scores the layup. Shinjo Towa Academy is slowly catching up. The score is 10 to 18. On seeing Chiaki's mistake, Tokiwa comments that Kuzuryu High is not efficient when it comes to fast breaks. Chiba agrees and states that Kuzuryu High hasn’t scored for a while because of Chiaki’s poor decision-making.

Katsumi Takahashi Dunks

Kuzuryu High has possession of the ball, and Chiaki, while going for a layup, notices that all his team members are heavily guarded and have no opportunity to pass them. Chiaki then tries to score and gets blocked by Yukio. Kenji then urges his senior Yasuhara to position himself inside the paint area so that he can receive the passes from Chiaki. On seeing Chiba comments that it’s a one-sided defense with the sole purpose of obstructing the point guard. The defensive formation limits the pass courses of the ball holder, and by denying any open spaces, it leaves no choice for the point guard to score by himself. In concluding, Chiba praises Roku for his defense in guarding against Kenji. Takahashi notices a frustrated Chiaki; he steals the ball from him and efficiently scores the layup. The score is 12 to 18, and Shinjo Academy is gradually closing the deficit gap. Kaname informs Nao that Chiaki has made some minor mistakes, and the reason he is struggling is that Shinjo Towa Academy number 4 Takahashi is more skilled than him. Upon hearing, Nao then heads towards the referee to call for a timeout, and Chiaki does another slopy pass and causes another turnover. A frustrated person from the crowd criticizes Kuzuryu High for their weak offence. An angry Kenji urges his captain to regain his composure and do screens properly.

Tokiwa informs his Captain that Kuzuryu High sense of cooperation at the moment is abysmal. Chiba agrees with his teammate and states that in crucial times like this, teamwork is essential. Takahashi passes the ball to Yukio. Chiaki then urges his brother to steal the ball. Momoharu is unsuccessful and then tries to stop his adversary. Yukio does a fake layup and tries to score. The ball touches the rim, and now it is a battle of rebound between the two of them. Takahashi, out of nowhere, comes from behind; he retrieves the loose ball before Momoharu and does a vicious dunk. Shinjo Towa’s first-years praises their captain for his efforts. The referee calls it an offensive charge and notifies the basket will not count. Tokiwa states that the call by the referee was pretty obvious. Kento agrees and says that it was a flagrant foul. On hearing his teammates' opinion, Chiba states that the tides have shifted in Shinjo Towa Academy’s favor, and he is interested in seeing how Kuzuryu High will respond.

Characters

Reference

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