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"For the Sake of Victory" is the seventy eighth chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Madoka arrives at the Tournament Venue

The first half finishes on a good note for Kuzuryu High and Shinjo Towa Academy. Both teams display a superior level of basketball. On departing, Chiba praises both teams for their better-than-expected performance. An excited Tokiwa comments that he is impressed by Sora’s progression as a basketball player and looks forward to competing against his team. A depressed Chiaki leaves the court and heads to a nearby convenience store. A worried Nao finds him and gives words of encouragement to her senior. On departing requests Chiaki to return to the court. Chiaki regains his confidence and informs Tarou that he will become the best basketball player in Japan.

Meanwhile, at the main tournament venue, Madoka and her teammates arrive. Momoharu sees Madoka and questions her presence at the court. Madoka replies that she and her teammates came to cheer them on. To raise the morale and spirits of the boys’ basketball team, the girl’s team members give them sugar candy. Upon eating, Kenji complains that it is too sweet. Youko praises Kenji for being the highest scorer on the team with 24 points. On meeting Sora, Madoka recalls the dreadful moment when her sister gave her the sad news of Yuka’s worsening condition, and while giving him candy, she urges Sora to give his efforts. At Shinjo Towa Academy bench, a confident Takahashi tells his squad that their team can indeed win the match and encourages them to keep their spirits up. Takahashi then seeks Kojima for his advice. Kojima replies that this is an intense match for their team and praises Kuzuryu High for being a worthy opponent. Takahashi agrees with his friend’s opinion and comments that he was looking forward to competing at an intense match like this ever since enrolling in high school. Takahashi then asks his other teammates if their practice sessions were rigorous. Roku jokingly replies that indeed they were. Takahashi praises his teammate for his efforts. Roku urges his captain to save the words of encouragement and praise them when their team attains victory.  

An exhausted Nao makes her way back to court and politely apologizes to her squad for being away. Sora asks if she met Chiaki. Nao replies that he is fine and believes that he will return to court. Just three minutes remain in the conclusion of the timeout. Nao then tells her squad that their team wasn't able to grab the lead in the final five minutes of the first half. However, the flow of the match was definitely in their favor. She urges her squad not to lose that flow and keep the same momentum going in the second half. Nao requests Kaname to continue being their team’s center. Sora asks Nao when Chiaki is coming back on being their team’s point guard. Kenji replies that their senior has three fouls and believes he will probably participate at the start of the fourth quarter. Kenji further comments that even if Chiaki joins them, it won’t make a huge difference.

Kojima praising Kuzuryu High for being a worthy opponent

On hearing, Chiaki jokingly punches his team's freshman and tells Kenji that he has become mischievous lately and urges Kenji not to think low of him. Momoharu on seeing his brother furiously asks where he was. Chiaki confidently replies he went to the washroom and then requests Nao to allow him to participate in the match. Momoharu disagrees with his brother and reminds him that he has gotten three fouls. Nao allows Chiaki to participate and informs her senior if he gets another foul, she will substitute him and allow him to join in the final three minutes of the match. Chiaki agrees with his manager’s suggestion. A determined Shinjo Towa Academy forms a circle; they chant their team’s name and encourages themselves to win the match. Nao urges her squad to win the match, and a strong-minded Chiaki joins his team. Hence, this is the first time all the starting five members of Kuzuryu High will be participating in the match. Meanwhile, at the Kanagawa Hospital, Yuka informs her mother that the game must have approached its halfway point and then requests Yone that she would like to go to the tournament venue to see her son’s performance. A confused Yone stares and looks at her daughter.

Characters

Reference

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