May Contain Spoilers
Oh, no. Things seem to be falling apart for Shohoku faster than the shinkansan barreling down the tracks. Without Coach Anza’s steadying influence, they can’t stay focused and they are not playing to win. Akagi is too busy worrying about his ankle to make the aggressive moves he needs to go one-on-one with Uozumi. Can Koguri get their heads back in the game?
Well, the team collapsed like a house of cards. Boom! They are hardly putting up a fight against Ryonan. Akagi is the biggest disappointment. He’s dreamed of this moment for years, and he’s doing nothing to capitalize on it. He is being steamrolled by Uozumi, and he’s doing little to try to dominate the game.
That’s not to say that everything is Akagi’s fault, because it’s not. The entire Shohoku team needn’t have bothered showing up. They are that out of the game. Even Hanamichi, despite his bluster, can’t get anything going. The guy falls on the ball (a real ball buster – sorry!), and looks like a rank amateur out there. Fukuda and Uozumi don’t hesitate to take advantage. Where is Coach Anzai when we need him?
This was a dramatic installment in the series. The game is fast and fierce, but the Shohoku team doesn’t seem to be part of the action. They better start hustling, or their season will be over just when things were getting good. And how will Hanamichi live down this humiliation? Fukuda practically stomped on his face, and then stood over him to gloat about it. Come on, Hanamichi! Get that infamous temper ignited! Anything to get the team back in the game!
Grade: 4.25 stars
Review copy borrowed from my local library
About the book:
In a white-hot competition, you need your confidence to carry you to victory. In the Shohoku vs. Ryonan game, Akagi, still recovering from an ankle injury, has his confidence shaken when Ryonan’s Uozumi knocks him down. Now doubting his effectiveness, Akagi begins deferring opportunities to his teammates. Ryonan seizes the chance to pull away, leaving Shohoku wondering how they’re going to get their mojo back! Sakuragi’s going to have to try something unthinkable to get Akagi back on his feet and his head in the game!