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"Something to Protect 5" is the eighty eighth chapter in Ahiru no Sora.

Chapter Summary

Sora returns to the match

Kojima successfully scores the layup, and Shinjo Towa Academy closes the deficit gap to two points. Kuzuryu High calls for a quick timeout. An injured and fatigued Kojima falls to the ground. Takahashi and the rest of his teammates assist Kojima to stand up. Kojima reassures his colleagues that he is fine and nothing to be worried about. Kojima then urges Takahashi that in these remaining 28 seconds, their team has to gain possession of the ball from Kuzuryu High at any cost. Takahashi calmly stares at his friends, and the rest of his teammates accompany Kojima towards their team’s bench. Madoka returns to the tournament hall and asks her colleagues about the situation of the match. Sayuri replies that Momoharu missed two free throws. Their opponent managed to close the deficit gap to two points, and their team has just taken the final timeout. Sayuri further states that if this match goes to overtime, their team has no chance of winning. Madoka and Youko furiously tell their former captain not to say such negative things about their boys’ team. Sayuri replies that Sora and his teammates only had a month's practice. In comparison to their team, Shinjo Towa Academy has the stamina to compete for a further 20 or 30 minutes. There are strong teams and weak teams. However, one thing that is common amongst them is that they all fought through basketball with diligence.

Shinjo Towa Academy changes its offensive formation to an all-court press. The timeout finishes and a well-rested Sora joins the match. Kojima urges his good friend Takahashi to steal the ball from their opponent, or otherwise, their team will lose. Sora has possession of the ball and passes it to Chiaki. Takahashi is carefully guarding him. Chiaki being unfazed by his opponent, does his signature backhand pass. Sora efficiently receives it. Yukio tries to stop him; Sora manages to evade his defense, slips and falls to the ground, and somehow manages to pass the ball to Kenji. Kazushi keeps up with Kenji’s pace. Takahashi urges his teammate not to let Kenji score. Sakamaki also returns to the court. Kenji tries to score. The ball rotates around the rim, and Momoharu and Yukio position themselves for the rebound. Momoharu retrieves the loose ball. Chiaki advises his brother to pass the ball. Momoharu passes it Kaname. Due to being a bit confused, the ball fumbles across Kaname’s hand, and Yanagihara grabs the loose ball. Shinjo Towa Academy heads towards their opponent's side of the court. Chiaki being a bit confused and undecided try to stop Takahashi and gets himself into foul trouble. The referee whistles defensive foul by number 7, and Shinjo Towa Academy will have an opportunity to make two free-throw attempts.

Chiaki gets his fifth foul, and he is disqualified from the match. Everyone at Shinjo Towa Academy celebrates and requests the tournament official for a quick timeout. Three seconds remain to conclude the match. A depressed and tired Kuzuryu High squad heads towards their team’s bench. Upon seeing her worried teammates, Youko comments that their boys’ team is in a similar situation to their first-round match. Sayuri tells her colleague not to remind her of their recent loss. Madoka quietly comments that the pressure of being chased into the corner is pretty high, and she has never experienced that before. Nao looks at a fatigued Kaname and believes he has anemia. Momoharu replies Kaname seems like he is non-conscious. Kenji overhears their conversation and comments that this is such a crucial moment in the match, and they now would have to sub out Kaname. Yasuhara urges Kenji to stop complaining, and he is the one who missed the layup. Kenji replies that it just happened to miss. Yasuhara angrily stares at his freshman. Chiaki tells both of them to stop arguing, and yapping or complaining won’t solve anything. Sora agrees with his senior’s suggestion and believes that their opponent must also be feeling the effects of pressure to win the match.

Takahashi attempting to make the second free-throw

At Shinjo Towa Academy bench, Takahashi tells his teammates that in case he misses both the free throws Yukio and will get the rebound. Takahashi further states that since Kuzuryu High number 7, Chiaki has fouled out himself, their team has an advantage underneath the goal post. Roku agrees and voices his opinion that their team has enough time to score after retrieving the rebound. A well-rested Kojima returns to the match. Takahashi heads to the free-throw line, and he misses the first free throw. Shinjo Towa Academy first-year students are stunned. Momoharu then informs Yasuhara to prepare himself for the rebound. Yasuhara agrees and gives a thumbs up to his captain. Takahashi attempts the second free-throw, and it misses. Both teams prepare themselves for the rebound. Takahashi somehow manages to grab the rebound and passes it to Kazushi. The onlookers in the crowd comment that number 7, Kazushi, is free, and he can easily make the mid-range shot. Meanwhile, at the Kanagawa Hospital, Yuka’s condition worsens, the hospital staff takes her to the intensive care unit for operation. A worried and depressed Yone waits outside.

Characters

Reference

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