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Seirin High vs. Rakuzan High is the match of the Winter Cup finals.



Kuroko told his teammates in Seirin the story of his past in Teikō. The time he spent with the Generation of Miracles and how their talents affected their way of play. The Seirin members were surprised to find out that their next opponent, Akashi, has two abilities rather than one, unlike the rest of the Generation of Miracles [1]. As everyone headed home from Kagami's house where they gathered to listen to Kuroko's story, they imagined and feared Rakuzan's current strength. With Akashi and three of five Uncrowned Kings, it would be near impossible to beat them. The team, however, decided that showing Seirin's full strength will be sufficient to beat them and win the finals. [2]

On the day of the finals, Riko has her hair cut off by Hyūga in his father's shop, Kiyoshi has breakfast with Izuki's family by coincidence, Kagami meets Himuro to settle their matters, and Kuroko is in Seirin's gym remembering everything from the time he had joined Seirin to the present, and realizes that he is glad to be playing basketball. His intention, to vent all those feeling on Akashi [3]. Kuroko then leaves for the Winter Cup building, where he will meet the rest of his teammates.

Kuroko and Akashi during warm-up

During the warm-up, Seirin notices that not one of Rakuzan's players has missed a shot, even though it is just a warm-up. On the other side, the Rakuzan members are preparing to battle their pre-arranged Seirin members. Each of the players has their own mark, who they are intending to go against. As Akashi states, that he will be joining the game from the start, a ball rolls up to Akashi who then returns it to Kuroko. Akashi then asks Kuroko if he has found the answer to his question, that is "What is victory?"[4]. Kuroko replies that he has, as Akashi tells him to show him his basketball. Kuroko denies, saying it will not be his basketball he will be showing, but rather Seirin's basketball. Akashi accepts Kuroko's challenge.[5]

The starting members and staff of each team is introduced through the stadium's speakers. Just before the tip-off starts, Kagami asks Kiyoshi if he could jump instead of him. Kiyoshi agrees and lets Kagami jump the tip-off.[6]

1st Quarter

The tip-off commences as Kagami and Nebuya jump for the ball. Due to Kagami's high jumping ability, he was able to get the ball and pass it on to Izuki, who then passed the ball to Kuroko, who then used his Ignite Pass Kai, to pass the ball further to Hyūga. Hyūga doesn't catch the ball as Kuroko used too much strength. The ball dribbles under the hoop but luckily Hyūga manages get it, attempting to make the basket when he is stopped by Mibuchi who was guarding him.[7]

Kagami makes the first basket

Rakuzan counter attacks, as Akashi passes the ball to Nebuya, who then heads to make the basket. Kiyoshi who tried to intercept him, was stopped by Mayuzumi. As Nebuya was about to make the basket, he is stopped by Kagami who steals the ball again and goes for a counterattack. As Kagami runs to the basket, he is stopped by Akashi who went to guard under the basket. However, due to Kagami's strong will to win with his teammates, he was able to enter the Zone and use Meteor Jam to score. [8]As Kagami has entered the Zone, he has managed to score baskets with two consecutive Meteor Jams. As Mayuzumi attempts to score, he is stopped by Kagami who has taken on the position of both offense and defense.[9]

As the match progresses, Kuroko is subbed-out for Mitobe. Seirin plans to let Kagami focus only on the offense, leaving the defense to the rest of his teammates. As the match resumes, Kagami passes Hayama who was guarding him and advances to the basket, where Mibuchi and Nebuya were guarding. However, Kagami uses a fake evading them, scoring the basket. As the match goes to Seirin's favour, Akashi decides to swap marks with Hayama, intending to guard Kagami himself.[10]

Mibuchi scores a three-pointer which increased Rakuzan's score, however it is still 11-5 for Seirin. Seirin counterattacks with Izuki passing the ball to Kagami, who at the time was marked by Akashi. As Kagami faces Akashi, Akashi uses his Emperor Eye to try and stop Kagami, however, Kagami passes and heads for the basket. Kagami missed the shot. Akashi then goes on to tell him that he was looking down on Akashi who lead Kagami into a trap. Akashi made Kagami take one more step in order to pass him, this resulted in Kagami missing the shot due to the angle the shot was aimed at.[11]

Ankle Break on Kagami

Akashi has the ball and uses a screen to advance further to the basket. He is stopped by Kagami but Akashi uses his Ankle Break make him fall.[12] Akashi passes Kagami and advances further to the basket. Izuki uses his Eagle Spear to try and steal the ball from Akashi, but Akashi evades and passes the ball to Mibuchi. Mibuchi advances to the basket but then Kiyoshi appears, marking him. Mibuchi, however, uses a double clutch and passes Kiyoshi, shooting the ball. Just when he was about to score, Mitobe blocks him, stopping him from scoring.

As Seirin counterattacks, Kagami has his doubts on whether he can actually beat Akashi, but seeing his teammates support him, Kagami got back in the game. Izuki passes the ball to Kagami who was being blocked by Akashi. Kagami passes the ball to Mitobe, knowing he can't beat Akashi in his current state. Mitobe uses a hook and scores the basket. Rakuzan counterattacks with Akashi passing the ball to Mayuzumi who then scores the basket. Not wanting to risk the advantage in point difference, Riko decides to put Kuroko back in the game. As Kuroko enters the court he is being noticed by the audience and the Rakuzan players, noting that his small presence is fading away. During the player substitution, Hayama approaches Akashi and asks him for another chance at marking Kagami, as he wants to return the favour.[13]

Kuroko's pass is intercepted

As the game continues, Seirin is in control of the ball as they pass it to Kagami who is marked tightly by Hayama. Kagami makes a crossover but leaves the ball in place for Kuroko to pass it through to Hyūga. Hyūga however, is blocked by Mibuchi resulting in him not scoring the basket. As the ball falls down, Nebuya rebounds and passes the ball to Akashi who then swings it to Hayama. Hayama is marked by Kagami in return, but he uses his four fingers to power-dribble the ball, resulting in him passing Kagami and scoring the basket.[14] Now it is 15 - 11, and it is yet again Seirin's ball. Izuki has the ball and passes it to Kuroko who then uses his Misdirection to pass it through. Kuroko's pass is intercepted however, resulting in Rakuzan stealing the ball and scoring yet another basket. Akashi approaches Kuroko to tell him the reason he didn't want Kuroko to learn anything else other than passing back in Teikō. He tells him that if he would, he would lose Misdirection completely as other moves are too flashy.[15] Akashi tells Kuroko he is now only an ordinary player with no value whatsoever leaving Kuroko shocked at the loss of his abilities.

Akashi steals the ball

The game continues with Kuroko marked by Mayuzumi. As everyone has their attention on Kuroko, Akashi uses this to steal the ball from Izuki. The ball however goes out of bounds, meaning it's Seirin's ball. Seirin requests for a player substitution as Kuroko is changing with Tsuchida. When Kuroko goes to sit down, Riko asks him to sit next to her. She then encourages Kuroko not to give up and tells him that he will definitely go back in the game soon.[16] Meanwhile, Tsuchida explains the situation to the rest of his teammates telling them that they will be taking on the challenge of playing with Kuroko, as without him, the chances of victory are none. Seirin keeps their confidence as they say that it is time to repay Kuroko and Kagami for all the times they have saved the team so far. Hyūga, however, then goes on to say that it is natural for teammates to help each other.

Kuroko's failed attempt at Vanishing Drive

The score is 15 – 15 and the ball goes out of bounds yet again. Seirin has a member change, with Kuroko going back in. The game resumes with Kuroko having the ball. He uses his Vanishing Drive in order to pass Mayuzumi. This however failed, leaving Kuroko still pressured by Mayuzumi. Kuroko then attempts a Phantom Shot, which was blocked as well. Rakuzan steals the ball and goes for a counterattack. Just as Hayama is going up for the basket, he is stopped by Kagami. Mibuchi later on catches the ball and scores two points for Rakuzan. There is a rebound and Nebuya was just about to catch the ball, when he is suddenly stopped by Kiyoshi who used his Vice Claw to steal the ball. Kiyoshi then passes the ball to Hyūga who uses his Barrier Jumper to score a three pointer. The first quarter ends with a tied score of 21 – 21.[17]

2nd Quarter

Mayuzumi uses Misdirection

During the break, Seirin decides to bench Kuroko in the 2nd Quarter, but swears he will return for the sake of victory. Meanwhile, Akashi tells his team that Hayama, Mibuchi and Nebuya will be responsible for scoring while Mayuzumi will be responsible for passing. The game resumes and Mitobe is subbed in instead of Kuroko. Rakuzan is in control of the ball as Mitobe is seen guarding Mayuzumi. Akashi passes the ball to Nebuya but misses. Suddenly Mayuzumi disappears and uses Misdirection to pass the ball to Mibuchi who scores the basket. Everyone is surprised as Akashi tells Seirin that Mayuzumi is the new version of the "Phantom Sixth Man". [18]

Mitobe guards Mayuzumi

Akashi passes the ball to Mayuzumi who then uses Misdirection yet again to pass the ball to Nebuya, as Nebuya scores the basket leading to the score of 21 - 26 for Rakuzan. Seirin counters with Izuki holding the ball. On the bench, Kawahara suggests Riko to sub Kuroko back in to guard Mayuzumi, in order to stop his Misdirection. Riko however tells him that that is pointless. Back on the court, Hayama steals the ball from Kagami and passes it to Akashi. Akashi then passes the ball to Mayuzumi, who is blocked by Mitobe. Unable to use Misdirection, Mayuzumi attempts a basket instead and succeeds. Back on the bench, Riko tells Kawahara that subbing Kuroko back in would be pointless, as he can stop Mayuzumi's Misdirection, but he would not be able to stop him in a one on one battle. Walking past the Seirin bench, Mayuzumi notices Kuroko watching him, but then realises that he is not watching him, but rather observing him. [19]

Akashi passes Furihata

The score is 21 - 28 for Rakuzan as Seirin decides to do a member change. Riko subs Furihata for Mitobe as Izuki goes on to guard Mayuzumi, while Furihata is given the task of guarding Akashi. [20] As the game resumes, Mibuchi tells Akashi that it is the time for the throw in. Akashi moves while Furihata trips over and falls down. The game continues with the score of 21 - 28 for Rakuzan, as Nebuya asks Kiyoshi what colour is Furihata's blood, telling him that there is no way for Furihata to beat Akashi, with Kiyoshi replying that there is nothing to worry about as Seirin is super serious. As Furihata marks Akashi, he tries to steal the ball, however,

Kagami blocks Akashi

Akashi easily gets past him and continues forward to the basket. Suddenly Kagami appears blocking Akashi and trying to steal the ball. Meanwhile on the sidelines, Murasakibara comments that now Akashi cannot use Ankle Break in his current location. The players and the familiar faces in the crowd quickly realize the purpose of Furihata guarding Akashi, and that is to force Akashi into a position where he cannot use Ankle Break, and then have Kagami stop him.

Furihata scores

Despite Seirin's efforts, Akashi passes Kagami and advances further to the basket. However, when he tries to score, he is stopped by Kagami. The rebound was taken by Rakuzan resulting in them making the basket. The score now is 21 - 30 for Rakuzan. Mayuzumi is marked by Furihata, but despite this Mayuzumi decides not to pay much attention to Furihata on defense. Kiyoshi passes the ball to Furihata, who then makes the basket, surprising Mayuzumi. The score is now 23 - 30 in favor of Rakuzan. [21]

Akashi scores

The game continues with Seirin on defense: Furihata marking Akashi, Hyūga taking Mibuchi, Kagami going against Hayama, Kiyoshi on Nebuya, and Izuki guarding Mayuzumi, sealing him from using Misdirection. Meanwhile, Akashi uses Ankle Break on Furihata and scores the basket. Despite Furihata's poor performance, the familiar faces in the audience, as well as Rakuzan's coach, notice Furihata's determination and willingness to put everything on the line to keep Akashi from getting past him. He also comments on Riko's skills, which exceed most other amateur coaches.

Noticing these things, Rakuzan's coach calls for a time-out. During the time-out, Rakuzan decides on their attack focus which will be on Mibuchi. Meanwhile, during the time-out, Furihata falls down on the bench due to his stamina being drained. Riko and everyone else is surprised as they know that Furihata's stamina should still not be out yet, then they realise that this must be due to the pressure exerted by Akashi. Seeing Furihata's condition Fukuda pleads Riko to put him in the game instead of him. Everyone agrees as the players go back on the court. Riko tells them that they should now focus on offence and shrink the difference in points this way. [22]

Hyūga vs Mibuchi

Confused Fukuda asks Izuki what she meant by that, with Izuki replying that she meant 3 pointers. They will now focus on Hyūga to score 3 pointers and decrease the difference in points. Meanwhile on the bench, Furihata tells Kuroko that it is frustrating that he has lost and wishes to become stronger. Kuroko tells him that he feels the same way. The score is 25 - 35 for Rakuzan, a 10 point difference between the two teams. As the game resumes, Fukuda guards Akashi surprising the other Rakuzan players who notice that another 1st year is guarding Akashi. As Akashi passes the ball to Mibuchi, Hyūga uses a screen to get past Mayuzumi. Now Hyūga is marking Mibuchi as it is now the battle of the shooting guards. [23]

As he faces Mibuchi, Hyūga remembers his admiration for Mibuchi's shooting style but also his hatred for his personality. Hyūga marks Mibuchi when suddenly Mibuchi jumps and shoots the basket using his Heaven shooting skill. The score is 25 - 38 for Rakuzan. Seirin begins their counterattack as the familiar faces in the crowd comment on Mibuchi's shooting form. As he goes for a counterattack, Hyūga admits Mibuchi's form is efficient. He then tells himself that now it is not the time to admire his role model, but rather that right now he is a player he has to beat. As Kiyoshi passes the ball to Hyūga, he shoots using his Barrier Jumper, and scores a 3 pointer for Seirin. Seeing his shooting, Mibuchi realises Hyūga's shooting form is similar to his. Rakuzan gets the ball and Mibuchi tells Akashi to pass him the ball, with him replying that he intended to and that Mibuchi should do whatever he wants.

Mibuchi uses Oblivion

As the game continues, both Hyūga and Mibuchi score baskets one after another. Kiyoshi however, realizes that the one being pressured is Hyūga. As Hyūga attempts a shot, Mibuchi blocks it which results in Rakuzan stealing the ball. Akashi has the ball as he passes it to Mibuchi yet again. As Mibuchi gets the ball he is guarded by Hyūga, and tells him that his shooting is better than what he had thought. He then goes on to tell Hyūga that he will show him something nice in return. In the sidelines, Hanamiya notices that Mibuchi will shoot using his Oblivion technique. Mibuchi scores with Hyūga unable to even jump and block him. Everyone is shocked as Hanamiya describes Mibuchi as "The General with 3 shots, Yaksha, Reo Mibuchi". [24]

Mibuchi scores the free throw

As Hyūga witnesses Mibuchi's skills, he admires them but then he starts to lose hope of winning. Questioning himself wether he can actually win against Mibuchi. Hyūga has the ball but Mibuchi guards him. Unable to pass his mark Hyūga decides to pass the ball to Kiyoshi who was under the basket. As Kiyoshi attempts to score, he is blocked by Nebuya. Unable to pass Nebuya, Kiyoshi passes the ball to Kagami who then scores the basket, resulting in the score of 33 - 44, with Rakuzan still in the lead. Seirin goes on the defense as Mibuchi tells Akashi to pass the ball to him again. Mibuchi adds that he has already won, but simply wishes to grade Hyūga's skills. Mibuchi has the ball and Hyūga guards him. Mibuchi prepares to shoot leaving Hyūga questioning if it's a fake or not. Hyūga falls for Mibuchi's fake and fouls him, resulting in a four point play. Mibuchi converts the free throw, thus completing the four point play. While Mibuchi scores the basket, Tōō Academy players commented that as far as shooting goes, Mibuchi is the best so far.

Nebuya pressures Kiyoshi

Seirin goes on the offense, as Kiyoshi notices Hyūga shaking. Kiyoshi then tells Izuki who has the ball to pass the ball to him as he wishes to go on the attack. Kiyoshi is under the basket with Nebuya marking him. Kiyoshi has the ball and challenges Nebuya, who accepts his challenge and tells him that it is time for his revenge from that time. Kiyoshi is surprised, but he then soon notices that Nebuya didn't move even for an inch. Kiyoshi passes Nebuya and attempts to score. Nebuya, however, stops Kiyoshi from scoring with the ball going out of bounds. All of the Seirin players notices Nebuya's strength. Nebuya then goes on to ask Kiyoshi if he had forgotten his past match against him, where Kiyoshi has beaten Nebuya.

"Herculean strength", Eikichi Nebuya

This was the first time Nebuya had experienced defeat. He then goes on to tell Kiyoshi that for the past years, he has been focusing on developing his muscles as that is the most important thing for an athlete to have. Nebuya then tells Kiyoshi his nickname, and that is "Herculean strength", Eikichi Nebuya. The familiar faces in the crowd all disagree with Nebuya's statement, as Kiyoshi apologises to Nebuya for forgetting the event in the past and tells Nebuya his nickname, which is "Iron Heart", Teppei Kiyoshi. [25]

Nebuya gets the rebound

The score is 33 - 48 for Rakuzan, as Seirin goes for a counterattack. The audience notices the tension under the basket as Kiyoshi and Nebuya mark each other. The audience call out each of their nicknames, calling this the "Iron Heart vs Herculean strength" battle, a battle between two kings. Fukuda attempts to shoot, but misses, causing a rebounding battle to ensue between the two centers. Kiyoshi is helpless as Nebuya uses his muscles to push him, however, Kiyoshi then realises that there is still the air battle which he could win. Kiyoshi jumps attempting to use his Vice Claw but Nebuya jumps as well and gets the ball, pushing Kiyoshi aside. The familiar faces in the crowd having witnessed this, comment on Nebuya completely pushing Kiyoshi out of range. The crowd also comments on how Nebuya resembles a gorilla, while his teammates from Rakuzan seem to be annoyed with his behaviour. [26]

Hayama tries to pass Kagami

Rakuzan is on the offense, as the audience comments that it seems that Seirin is the one that is always on the defense. Hayama has the ball and Kagami guards him. Hayama tries to get past Kagami but notices that he has caught up to him with speed. Hayama soon passes the ball to Nebuya who scores the basket and again, completely pushing Kiyoshi aside. The familiar faces in the crowd, namely Himuro comments that even though he made fun of Nebuya's statement from before, he starts to think if there is really anyone who can match up to him with power. As the match continues, Izuki notices just how much Kiyoshi is sweating.

Kiyoshi passes to Fukuda

He also summarises the current situation of the team and them being at a disadvantage. Kiyoshi then calls out to Izuki who then decides to pass the ball to him. Kiyoshi attempts to score, but Nebuya is blocking him. Kiyoshi then decides to pass the ball to Fukuda who then scores the basket.

As Fukuda scores, the Seirin bench is cheering the team on for Fukuda's shot, but in the stands, Imayoshi comments that the score is "bad". He tells his teammates that it wasn't a bad decision, but says to look at the score. Imayoshi goes on to say that there is a significant difference in power between Rakuzan and Seirin. He goes on to say that Aomine's analogy of a chihuahua fighting a lion was too kind, saying that in his opinion, it more resembles a house fly versus a lion. He then adds that even though Izuki is guarding Mayuzumi, he isn't sealing him.

"They need him after all...!"

Meanwhile, on the court, Mayuzumi uses Misdirection and passes the ball to Hayama, who then scores the basket. Mayuzumi tells Izuki that even though he is supposed to disappear, he is pissed off that Izuki didn't notice. The familiar faces in the crowd conclude that even though Seirin is a good team, an ordinary team won't cut it. In order to become a team that can pull off miracles, they need Kuroko. [27]

With Seirin down 17 points, Hyūga and Kiyoshi both have trouble attacking over Mibuchi and Nebuya respectively, who are marking them. Izuki also finds going through Akashi very difficult and passes the ball to Fukuda. Fukuda tries to receive the pass but fumbles and causes a turnover. Realising that Fukuda is exhausted, he is subbed-out for Kawahara by Riko.

Akashi dunks from an alley-oop

Hayama now tries to take on Kagami again. Hayama does a cross over and drives past Kagami for a simple layup. However, in the next possession, Hayama got caught in a screen and allowed Kagami to make a mid-range jumper to pull one basket back for Seirin. Seirin could not manage to score in the next few possessions, while Rakuzan continued to score, increasing the point difference. In the final possession for Rakuzan in the second quarter, Akashi, who is just 173 cm, dunks an alley oop from Mayuzumi, making the whole Seirin team feel helpless[28]. Murasakibara then comments that if Seirin wants a miracle to happen, they will definitely need Kuroko. However, he states that it may already be too late. Even if Seirin subs Kuroko in now, the score might not change even with a miracle. The first half ends with Rakuzan leading by 25, 62 - 37.

3rd Quarter

Seirin's will shatters

During the interval, Seirin had come up with a plan to give the ball to Hyūga in order for him to score as many three-pointers as he can for Seirin to catch up. Riko agrees but then tells Kagami to take care of Akashi because he will have the ball during Rakuzan's counter attacks. Meanwhile, Rakuzan, predicting Seirin's moves, have decided that Mibuchi will be guarding Hyūga and Akashi will take care of Kagami.[29]

The 3rd quarter begins as Seirin have their loud cheer. The Rakuzan players noted that they have done this to protect their hearts from the darkness of despair. On the bench, Furihata feels as if his will is being crushed, even now, and that even after watching the recordings of the first half of the match, Kuroko was not able to come up with a solution just yet. Kagami heads to the court and Kuroko tells him that he is counting on him, and Kagami replied with confidence. As the match starts, Seirin has the ball and they use a screen to let Hyūga get the ball and shoot a three-pointer. The ball goes in and raises Seirin's score.[30] The score now is 40 - 62, still behind Rakuzan by 22. Seirin goes on to defense, while the Yōsen players in the audience commented on how Seirin has little to no chance of winning. Murasakibara, however, tells them that Akashi is not strong only due to his abilities, but also for his tactical play. Aomine as well, tells his teammates from Tōō, that Seirin has no chance of winning because Akashi is there. His style of play is to strangle out life out of his opponents until there is absolutely no chance of them winning.

Mibuchi uses his Earth shot

Mibuchi uses his Earth technique to shoot a three-pointer and made Hyūga reach his third foul. Now that he has three fouls, Hyūga will be restricted in his play, meaning he will resort to cowardly play in order not to get his fourth foul, which would bring him out of the game. Akashi tells Seirin that there is no way he will loosen his grip on them until they are completely dead.[31] Not accepting his foul, Hyūga goes to the referee and tells him that he didn't even touch Mibuchi. The referee, not listening to Hyūga, tells him to get ready as the game will resume. Hyūga however is persistent, telling the referee that he did not foul Mibuchi. The referee finally decides to give Hyūga a technical foul, resulting in Hyūga going out of the game.

Akashi crushes Seirin's last hope

Shūtoku have come to watch the match, commenting on how unfortunate the situation is. Midorima then tells them that he can't really blame Hyūga, as it really shows just how desperate he is to win. Meanwhile, Kaijō have come as well, as Kise tells them that there is still a small glimmer of hope, which is Kagami. The game resumes and Mibuchi has three free throws, due to Hyūga's foul. He missed two out of three leading his teammates in Rakuzan asking him if he is alright as he never misses a free shot. Mibuchi tells them that he's just a bit spent and that he will readjust himself quickly. As Kagami gets the ball, the benched Seirin members plea as Kagami is their last hope. With Akashi marking him, Kagami hopes to enter the Zone and take the points. However, the door to the Zone never opens to the ones who need it.[32] Taking his chance, Akashi uses his Emperor Eye and steals the ball from Kagami, scoring the basket. Seirin then calls for a time-out.

Some of the audience already began to leave the stadium as it is nearly impossible to even up the score this late in time, assuming that Rakuzan already took the match. Basketball could be a very boring sport, when the difference in points is high. The familiar faces in the crowd comment on how Seirin has had their wills completely crushed. Their light of hope has completely vanished, and they cannot stand up anymore.[33] On the Seirin bench, Kuroko looks at his wristbands and remembers the time he decided to quit basketball back in Teikō. He also remembers the time when Seirin encouraged him and told him that they were friends this whole time. Kuroko then remembers Ogiwara's parting words where he told Kuroko that he couldn't manage to move a limb against those frozen gazes of the Generation of Miracles, but believes that someday Kuroko would surely be able to face them and melt that ice.[34]

Kuroko comes back

Kuroko begins to cry and tells his teammates that he won't accept this and that he wants to win, with everyone from Seirin. He wants to be the number one in Japan with everyone from Seirin. Everyone was surprised at Kuroko's sudden will of not giving up. They asked him if he had some kind of plan, to which he denied, but even so, he would want to play. All of the Generation of Miracles, along with Momoi were surprised as the player substitution was announced. Kuroko had entered the court, telling himself that he won't run away anymore, and that he will fight.[35]

The Rakuzan players on the court comment on how unbelivable the situation is, thinking that even if Kuroko goes back in, the result won't change. Before the game continues, Akashi asks Kuroko what the latter is thinking and saying that Seirin has no chance to win, but Kuroko replies that he just wants to battle to win, and he is determined to fight till the end regardless of the final result. Akashi comments that it is a meaningless determination.[36]

Every member of Seirin is determined to battle on. Before Kuroko goes into the court, his teammates asked whether he already has a solution to get him to use Misdirection again, but he could not think of one. However, Kuroko said he has thought about something. Back to the match, Kuroko gives a screen on Mibuchi and Koganei manages to hit a jumper, reducing the lead down to 23 points, 42 - 65.

Kuroko vs Mayuzumi

In the next possession for Rakuzan, Kuroko marks Mayuzumi on a one-on-one, a match-up that shocked the audience, and Mayuzumi himself feels that he needs to win as he thinks it's not possible for Kuroko to win against him. He manages to drive through Kuroko, and goes to shoot, but Hayama realises that something is wrong, and in the end Kagami appears to block Mayuzumi. Izuki then scores the counter attack basket to get one more, cutting the lead to 21 points. Mayuzumi takes on Kuroko once again, and Takao saw that Seirin purposely made this marking. Mayuzumi once again successfully drives past Kuroko and Kiyoshi is supposed to help. However, Mayuzumi scores as no one in Seirin goes to try blocking him.[37]

Imayoshi then comments that Kagami's block is just a coincidence. He also comments that the current Seirin already has no energy to stop every single attack from Rakuzan, and Seirin have no plans to counter them. Mayazumi is one level higher than Kuroko in terms of basketball, but is the weakest in the Rakuzan team. Therefore the plan is to let the player who has the highest tendency to miss in the Rakuzan team, Mayuzumi, to attempt to score. Mayuzumi also realises this plan, thinking that Seirin are underestimating him, therefore he has decided to play with his all, without the need to play with mercy.

Kuroko disappears

Mayazumi then scores the next basket, and then taunts Kuroko that the old Phantom Sixth Man will not win the new Phantom Sixth Man. Kagami then scores the next basket to keep Rakuzan's lead to 23 points, 46 - 69. Kuroko then talks to Mayuzumi, who is holding the ball, about what Takao has told him before during their first encounter, which is about the hatred for the same kind. This sentence led to Kuroko saying that he will not allow the Phantom Sixth Man title to be given out yet. Mayuzumi suddenly lost sight of Kuroko, when Hayama tries to pass to Nebuya. However, this pass is intercepted by the suddenly appearing Kuroko, who shocked the Rakuzan team as to what Kuroko has done to get Mayuzumi and the rest to lose sight of him.[38]

Kuroko and Kagami bumping fists

Kuroko steals the ball for Seirin and passes it to Izuki. Seirin goes for counter attack as Izuki passes the ball back to Kuroko, who dribbles to Rakuzan's hoop. Hayama appears before Kuroko trying to stop him. At the time Hayama was cautious that if Kuroko has gotten his Misdirection back, he now has a chance to use the Vanishing Drive. However, Kuroko passes the ball to Kagami who then dunked, scoring for Seirin.[39] The score now is 48 - 69, still with Rakuzan in the lead. The benched Seirin members, as well as the players on the court rejoice as they have finally scored. Kuroko and Kagami bump fists, showing that their determination to win has not vanished. The Rakuzan players, as well as the familiar faces in the crowd were surprised as to how Kuroko managed to disappear.

Kagami enters the Zone again

On the court, Kuroko faces against Mayuzumi in a 1-on-1 battle again. It is now that Mayuzumi realises what Kuroko is doing, and that is overwriting him.[40] Meanwhile on the sidelines, Midorima explains, in summary, that Kuroko is making Mayuzumi stand out more than himself, and that this way Kuroko is getting his Misdirection back. On the court, Mayuzumi passes the ball to Hayama, who attempts to shoot, but due to the pass being too low, he misses which results in a rebound battle in which Kiyoshi wins. It's Seirin's ball and Izuki dribbles to Rakuzan's hoop. He passes the ball to Koganei, but the pass is intercepted by Akashi who steals the ball.[41] As Akashi dribbles the ball to the hoop, Kagami appears before him marking him. Having found his new determination to win, Kagami enters the Zone again to face Akashi.[42]

Kagami's distance marking Akashi

In the faceoff, Akashi and the rest of the Rakuzan players are very surprised that Kagami is actually standing quite a distance away from Akashi.[43] The crowd thought that Kagami was letting Akashi open, and Nebuya called Akashi to shoot a 3-pointer. However, Akashi could not do anything, remaining at the same position. Aomine then said that Kagami's Zone has gone deeper, and Alex is impressed of the "wildness" of Kagami's Zone, resembling a beast.[44] Just then, Mayuzumi quickly gets out of Kuroko's sight and gets Akashi to pass to him, with the Seirin bench thinking that Kagami was a step too late. Nebuya then hits a layup to put Rakuzan's lead back to 23 points. It is then seen that Kuroko's overwritting of Mayazumi is still incomplete, and the latter has realised that if he just don't try to make himself obvious, then the overwritting will not be complete.

Kuroko marks Mayuzumi again

In the next Seirin's possession, Mibuchi is surprised by Koganei's simple but effective pick and roll and the latter makes a simple basket to cut down the lead again. Akashi faces a Zone-possessed Kagami again, but then he passes to Mayuzumi, who is guarded by Kuroko. Mayuzumi feels annoyed at how loose Kuroko's defense is, and that there is no one behind him ready to help. The five second rule is almost going to be called, and so Mayuzumi dribbles, but he actually drives past Kuroko, which he didn't intend to do.[45] Mayuzumi then shoots the ball, but gets blocked by Kagami.

Kuroko's Misdirection revived

The crowd then commented that devoting into the shadows, which is the main purpose of Kuroko and Mayuzumi, is not easy at all, requiring a completely iron will to completely shut out his own instincts.[46] However, even if Mayuzumi had the skills to defeat Kuroko, there are some things that Mayuzumi will lose to Kuroko, and that is the career as the Sixth Man and the will to fight for the team as the Sixth Man. This is the weight of determination from being in the shadows. With this, it is shown that Kuroko has completely overwritten Mayuzumi.[47]

Light and shadow

With the overwriting process completed, Kuroko's pass from Misdirection has managed to find Kiyoshi, who then takes on Nebuya. Kiyoshi ferociously posterised Nebuya, with the crowd cheering and at the same time, surprised at Kuroko's pass. Rakuzan's lead is down to 19, 52 - 71. For the current Seirin, in defense, Kagami has his Zone to pressurise Akashi, and in offense, Kuroko's passes has contributed the most, hence the Light and Shadow combo, Kagami and Kuroko, gave hope for Seirin, despite having little chance of winning. 

Rakuzan has asked for a time-out, despite still leading by 19, with Kagetora also thinking that he would also make the decision given the situation of a fierce Seirin fightback. The Generation of Miracles sitting with the audience are thinking that Rakuzan would substitute Mayuzumi out, as Kuroko has completely overwritten him. If Mayuzumi gets subbed out, Kuroko would be useless again, and allowing Kuroko to overwrite Mayuzumi is a big sin. Mayuzumi was discouraged about how his teammates treated him when he lost the battle to Kuroko, but Akashi came to him with something, giving Mayuzumi a surprise. Meanwhile, Seirin have came far to push for a comeback, and they need Hyuga's 3-pointers soon, so that the fightback can be possible. 

Timeout is over, and it's Rakuzan's possession. The crowd are very shocked that Mayuzumi is still in the court, instead of being subbed out, which was what most have predicted.[48] Midorima and Kise disagreed that Mayuzumi can use Misdirection Overflow as Mayuzumi only knows how to divert attention away from him, instead of drawing all the players' attention to him, which is the purpose of Misdirection Overflow. Meanwhile, flashback to the recent timeout, Akashi said that he has a use for Mayuzumi's power, and while Kagami is still in the Zone, Akashi's movements would be limited, hence he wants to use Mayuzumi's passes as offense.

Kagami marks Akashi again

Back to the court, Kagami's Zone has his super wide area defense made. However, Kagami got startled as the basketball suddenly disappeared and Mibuchi manages to score a 3-pointer, extending Rakuzan's lead to 22, 52 - 74. Another surprise is that Mayuzumi actually did not do anything during this play. The only use that Mayuzumi has now is to divert Serin's line of sight due to the fact that Mayuzumi can be easily seen now. Hence, now Mayuzumi has one purpose in court and that is to be a tool to let passes go through.[49]

Kuroko launches an Ignite Pass

It's Seirin's ball again and Kuroko fires an Ignite Pass, finding Koganei for a simple lay up to cut down the lead to 20.[50] Then it's Rakuzan's possession and Akashi makes a fast pass to Nebuya, engaging a battle under the post against Kiyoshi. Nebuya then taunted Kiyoshi that the latter merely recovered and dared him to block his shot. After that, Nebuya uses his Herculean strength and pushes Kiyoshi hard that the latter is unable to prevent him from moving, then Nebuya swiftly turns and jumps, then hits a simple bank shot to put  the lead back to 22. Although Seirin are fighting back well against Rakuzan's superior plays, Seirin are unable to reduce the point difference. 

The coach of Rakuzan, Eiji Shirogane, thought that since Kuroko's revival, Seirin's attacking power has greatly increased, causing constant threats to Rakuzan's defense. Plus with Kagami's second time of entering the Zone, his defense range has became wider and its causing Akashi to falter. However, he also said that this current Seirin would not last long, as Zone would exhaust a person, so as long as Rakuzan keeps Kagami in the Zone, he would get exhausted fast. Also, putting Mayuzumi as bait, Rakuzan can deliver passes well and that would be satisfied. Then, he said that to certify Rakuzan's victory with pace, they just need victories from Mibuchi, Hayama and Nebuya's 1-on-1 battles respectively. If they try to take their lead back with force under Seirin's current good plays, Rakuzan would have loop holes that Seirin can pick on to stage a fightback. Therefore, as long as Rakuzan calm down their pace and play their usual ball game, Seirin's light of hope would be gone. 

"It's heartless"

Aomine then comments that the Zone-possessed Kagami can still be beaten by Akashi, but the latter may have difficulties to mercilessly defeat Kagami. Hence Akashi would have to follow his style: to use tactics that have possibilities of failing. This means that even if the current Seirin is playing very well, it is not to the extent that will force Akashi to use those tactics. Seirin are currently frustrated that even though they are now into the game and managed to grab points, but Rakuzan don't seem to get shaken by it, and commented on Rakuzan's use of Mayuzumi being heartless.[51] Mayuzumi's only use now is to get caught by Kagami's sight, which is already a very big hit on basketball players. However, he managed to do it, as he is still on the court bearing the Rakuzan jersey, and that he still has that little responsibility as a basketball player, that made him move himself without any emotions. 

Next possession for Seirin and Kagami makes a mid-range shot to once again put the lead to 20. However, if Seirin don't stop Rakuzan's next attack, Seirin would not be able to try to make a comeback. Tsuchida commented that the current Rakuzan attacking formation is to isolate their 3 players: Mibuchi, Hayama and Nebuya for 1-on-1 battles, therefore if Seirin have to rely on the 1st year players to put the points up, the 2nd year players of Seirin would have to stop the attack from the entire Rakuzan team. 

Izuki blocks Hayama

It is now a battle between Izuki and Hayama, with the latter commenting that Seirin is on fire now, but that it is useless. However, he questioned why Izuki is marking him, as it would be easier to go past him than going past Kagami. Izuki then asked Hayama a question, about his feelings for Mayuzumi. Hayama got confused and said that he had no feelings about him, and said that he is just a tool for victory. Izuki then said that he does not have any dissatisfactions, but just that he does not want to lose to Rakuzan. Hayama then smiled, thinking that using his 3-finger dribble would be enough to beat Izuki. However, because of Izuki's word that made him unhappy, he will have to use his 4-finger dribble instead. Hayama starts his power dribble, but Izuki's Eagle Eye managed to help to see Hayama's swift movements to stop him from continuing to pass him.[52]

"Compared to Akashi, you are so much lamer"

Imayoshi then recalled something he said before, that a person can improve his abilities overwhelmingly after finding his self confidence back, that the rest of Seirin edging over the duo (Kuroko and Kagami) is not surprising. He then commented that in sports, a player's mentality can affect his abilities, that there are a lot of examples of a player who does not have much attention on himself then would make a big difference after doing some edits, in terms of spirit, on himself. Humans can make drastic changes because of situational changes. Moreover, Izuki has been battling the monster (Akashi) till this stage. Riko then said that Rakuzan are unstoppable in the first half for Seirin, but it is not that Seirin are not able to defend Rakuzan. In matches, humans can develop too. 

Hayama uses 5 fingers

Izuki then smiled and said that comparing to Akashi, Hayama is just a top. Hayama got shocked for a while, but then laughed and said that he is sorry for underestimating Izuki and commented that Izuki played well. Then, Hayama goes for his final skill: the 5-finger dribble.[53] Izuki immediately notices the change in Hayama and is frightened. However, he is still calm. The players of other teams in the sidelines commented on Izuki's improvement after facing Akashi and the possibility of Izuki beating Hayama.

Hayama dribbles past Izuki

On the court, Hayama begins to dribble but the Seirin players are surprised that even though he began his dribble, the ball is not moving. Suddenly, Hayama passes Izuki with incredible speed, surprising everyone. Izuki uses his Eagle Spear to try and steal the ball, but is unsuccessful due to Hayama's fast dribble and advanced further to the basket where Kiyoshi was guarding. Hayama passes Kiyoshi and scores the basket. The familiar faces in the crowd analyse Hayama's dribble and compare it to Kiyoshi's Right of Postponement. In order for Izuki to stop him, he will have to predict Hayama's movements ahead of not just only one move, but several. Koganei tells Izuki not to worry but Izuki apologizes and tells him that he's getting excited. Izuki then tells everyone to leave Hayama to him and that he will find a way to stop him. Everyone is surprised at Izuki's resolution as Koganei tells him that he's caught a Kagami bug.

Hayama scores

Kuroko uses his Invisible Pass to pass the ball to Kiyoshi who then scores the basket.[54] Nebuya seeing the pass and is getting annoyed by it. It's Rakuzan's counterattack and Hayama asks Akashi to give him the ball. Akashi replies by saying that that is the plan and tells him not to make a boring mistake. Confident, Hayama tells him he won't and that since Izuki is underestimating him, he will have to destroy him with all his power.[55] Hayama gets the ball and Izuki marks him again. Hayama dribbles again, passing Izuki and scoring the basket. On the sidelines, Imayoshi commented that Izuki was observing him, not trying to stop him with his Eagle Spear. Izuki asks everyone to let him try one more time, confident that he can stop Hayama now.

Hayama passes Izuki

Koganei misses his shot but Kagami saves the ball and scores the basket. On the sidelines, the other teams comment that Seirin cannot afford to make a mistake due to their difference in points. If Seirin doesn't catch up within the time they have remaining, they will lose the game, On the court, Hayama has the ball again with Izuki marking him. Hayama goes again for his dribble when suddenly, Nebuya warns him of Izuki's next move.[56]

Kuroko appears before Hayama

As Hayama passes Izuki, he notices Kuroko who suddenly appears before him. By observing Hayama, Kuroko noticed that Hayama's dribbling hand is under a large amount of stress and that when he turns there's a moment of rigidity. Hayama tells Kuroko that he was expecting him to pull of something like this, and suddenly passes him. Izuki appears, using his Eagle Spear to try and steal the ball again. However, due to his speed, Hayama dodges. The players on the Seirin bench are surprised as Hayama even evaded in his blind spot. Izuki asks Hayama if this is really all right, since he has entered the no trespassing zone of a beast. Hayama is surprised when suddenly Kagami appears blocking his shot.[57] Seirin stopped Rakuzan's offence and now it is time for Seirin's counterattack.

Kagami dunks

Kuroko has the ball and uses his Ignite Pass to pass it further to Koganei who attempts to shoot a basket. Izuki, however, tells him to pass the ball behind to the left. Koganei does as Izuki told him and notices that Mibuchi was about to block him if he were to shoot. Izuki then attempts to shoot, however, Hayama suddenly appears to stop him. Noticing him with his Eagle Eye, izuki stops his shoot and passes the ball further to the back, where Kagami catches it and dunks. Seirin's points rise as the Seirin bench is rejoiced. Hayama notices that Izuki is not only calculating ahead in defence but also offence. Izuki approaches him and tells him that he cannot beat Hayama due to their difference in skill. However, tells him that he is glad that Hayama is not as smart as he is, which angers Hayama.[58]

Kuroko steals the ball

Hayama has the ball and needs to pass it to his teammates under the 5 second rule. He has difficulties as all of his teammates are marked by Seirin. he notices that Mayuzumi is free and decides to pass it to him. Mayuzumi tells himself that Hayama is an idiot for passing to him, having forgotten who is marking him. Hayama realises his mistake, as Kuroko appears and steals the ball. Kagami dunks again, raising the score for Seirin. The score now being 64 - 80, with Rakuzan still in the lead, however, the audience comment on how Seirin is slowly catching up as they have scored consecutive points.[59]

Hayama calms down

Hayama flashes back to his mistakes made and was stoned. Realising about them, he keeps on reflecting on what went wrong and that he has really underestimated Izuki, who provocated him and led him to commit mistakes due to that he has taken Izuki's provocation seriously. After thinking through, Hayama lets out a sigh of breath and tells Akashi that he would not do 1-on-1 battles for now. Although Hayama wants revenge on Izuki, he thinks that Izuki is a professional player and that if he is not careful when going against him, he would have danger of losing the battle. Akashi forgives him, since Hayama has chilled himself down, and tells him that he would close one eye before Hayama makes another mistake. Hayama is saved from being benched and realised that his mind is full of Izuki, which makes Hayama very shocked.[60]

Akashi faces Kagami

Rakuzan now goes for the attack, with Akashi taking on Kagami, who is still in the Zone. However, this time round, Akashi is just outside the defensive range of Kagami and shot a 3-pointer over Kagami, which goes in. Aomine said that Kagami is naive, that the latter always assume that Akashi would just pass the ball and forget about the 3-pointer shooting ability of Akashi. Akashi advices Kagami that if the latter wants to stop his movements, he should watch the opponent closely and not letting his guard down. He also said that Kagami managed to enter the Zone at a higher level, but soon his energy will be drained.[61]

Kagami tells himself to be more focused, and remembered that what Aomine said before was how he entered the Zone. Another thing about the Zone is that it is like sinking into the water, that if he sinks deeper, he will be very agile in his movements, showing that there is an even higher level of Zone.[62]

Back to the match, Kagami passes to Kuroko, who quickly finds Kiyoshi, and Kiyoshi makes a simple finish to cut Rakuzan's lead back to 17. Although Seirin still can pull back the scores, Izuki is worried as for now, Seirin has no shooter. Remembering Akashi's 3-pointer before, Izuki thinks that when it comes to shooting, Koganei and himself have no problems, but when it comes to the success rate, both cannot beat Hyuga's. He also realised that in Rakuzan, there is an even better 3-point shooter than Akashi, and that person is Mibuchi. [63]

Koganei guards Mibuchi

Now Mibuchi takes on Koganei. The former thinks that he would not be rash, like Hayama, but he is surprised that Koganei is satisfied. Koganei then said that Rakuzan now knows how good Izuki is, because he thinks that Seirin now has the upperhand, and therefore he also need to keep up the effort. As Mibuchi is thinking about a way to react to his words, he got caught up in a surprise when Koganei suddenly changed his looks and attitude, and Mibuchi thinks that it is natural, and it is similar to Hayama.[64]

Riko commented that the match-up of Koganei vs Mibuchi would be the most obvious one as to deciding the winner, as there is difference in experience. She said that Koganei only started playing basketball in high school, and cannot be like Izuki who manages to read his opponent's mind. Koganei developed his ability in sport from tennis and has become well-defined. Although Koganei is not a master of anything, and that he has just less than 2 years of experience in basketball, yet he is still able to play in this high level, which satisfies Riko.[65]

Koganei then thought that although he cannot be like others who guess their opponents' movements from experience, what he can do for now is to be highly focused and observe closely at how his opponent moves. Nebuya and Mibuchi got surprised that Koganei has developed some form of wildness. However, in comparison of wildness, Kagami is a tiger, Aomine is a black leopard, Hayama is a cheetah, and Koganei is just a kitten.[66]

Koganei moves to stop Mibuchi's shot

Mibuchi feels that the wildness of Koganei is nothing much and that although a normal 3-pointer could beat the latter, he thinks that when facing Seirin, he must not underestimate them, and that the score difference is currently smaller, so he decided to use the Earth shot. However, as Koganei tries to approach, Mibuchi got surprised that he made a step back, thinking that Koganei predicted his way of shooting. He cannot believe that he made a step back effortlessly, which can make him toss the Heaven shot easily. As he goes to make one, Mibuchi got surprised again that Koganei is reaching for the shot, and after releasing, he realised that he exerted his strength from his fingertips too much. The shot missed, but Nebuya goes up to tip in the missed shot easily, which disappoints the Seirin bench. Mibuchi then said that even if it is just a cat, it could be a bobcat, and then changed his mindset that when facing Seirin, any player from the team must not be underestimated.[67]

Mibuchi reassured himself that he did not underestimate Koganei, but he did not expect such reaction from Koganei when he transitioned his shot from Earth to Heaven. The Seirin bench commented that Koganei's movements to stop Mibuchi could be intution or just lucky instead of being wild. Hyuga then thinks whether the movements are just luck or not; if Mibuchi does not fake and shot one of his 3 special shots, and Koganei jumped to react in time, it may be just lucky. However, at that time, Mibuchi, for a moment, had wanted to fake his shot, and Koganei also managed to react to that fake. Hyuga sees that as just lucky, and thinks that maybe Koganei himself did not realise about his own reaction, and thinks that Mibuchi's shooting form may have something that makes Koganei's intution change and react to the shot.[68]

Kiyoshi then passes up to Kagami

Back to the match, Kuroko passes to Kiyoshi, who attempts a shot, but gets challenged by Nebuya. Kiyoshi then passes up to Kagami for a bank tip-in shot, as Kiyoshi finds danger in taking the shot. Riko, however, gets worried as she sees Nebuya being able to catch up with Kuroko's pass, and there is currently no shooter to expand Seirin's attacking range. Nebuya taunts Kiyoshi that the latter looked like he has no will to fight using strength, making Kiyoshi raged. Koganei comes to Kiyoshi and cheers him up, to which Kiyoshi asked why the former was happy. Koganei replied that he is not lacklustre and he is hardworking, but being able to play in the match makes him happy. Izuki commented that the same words but coming out of Koganei's mouth, have different meanings.[69]

Touou commented that he thinks Koganei is just an ordinary player, but because he started playing basketball only at the start of high school and practiced until the form that he is today, it is amazing at a certain level of understanding; in co-corricular activities in high school, there is a large difference being people with experience and people without experience; Koganei's ball handling is not bad, and made a lot of effort to train; Imayoshi said that however, a normal level of experience cannot defeat the experience of the Crownless Generals.[70]

Koganei goes to block Mibuchi

A 1-vs-1 of Koganei and Mibuchi comes again, and the audience commented that Koganei's previous reaction towards Mibuchi's shot is just coincidence. and it will not happen again. As Mibuchi is about to shoot, he tells Koganei that the latter will not be able to do anything to his next shot, making Koganei shocked. The audience thinks that Mibuchi did not fake, straight away going for the 3-pointer. Himuro then said that it is not, but it is actually the skill Mibuchi used in the 2nd quarter, where his marker is unable to move to react to the shot. It is the Oblivion shot. 

Koganei recollects his past and the reason he had joined the basketball club. Although Koganei still did not understand his sister's words, he thought a lot while persisting. Mibuchi got surprised that Koganei actually managed to react to his Oblivion shot, with his face being covered by Koganei's hand. The whole Rakuzan team got surprised, but the shot actually goes in. Koganei got disappointed, thinking that he cannot stop the Oblivion shot again.[71]

Hyūga comes back

Riko then said that from Koganei's attempt to stop the Oblivion shot made Mibuchi realised 2 things: one being Koganei used some measures to break free of the Oblivion shot's movement freeze of the opponent, and the other being even if he is able to break free, he would not touch the ball. From these 2 things, Mibuchi can be prepared so that when Koganei is able to react to his shots again, he can just shoot like normal. The unexpected movement unfreeze was actually the last chance to stop the Oblivion shot, but the height difference between Koganei and Mibuchi prevented it. However, Hyuga commented that it is not the last chance, and he actually found the measures to stop the 3 types of shots Mibuchi use, and especially break free of the movement freeze from Oblivion shot, thanks to Koganei. He pleaded to Riko to put him in the start of the final quarter. 3rd quarter ends with Rakuzan still leading, by 20 points, 68 - 88.[72]

Both teams return to the court

Before the 4th quarter, a 2 minute break is given. In this break, the audience discusses about the 3rd quarter, that Seirin has the upperhand in the latter 5 minutes of the quarter, with Kuroko's revival of Misdirection, and Kagami's re-entering of Zone manages to pressure Akashi, plus Izuki being able to handle Hayama, and Koganei has given Mibuchi some hard time. However, the 20-point score difference is still large, and that despite being able to handle the game, the score difference would get larger; however advantegeous the team is, the score difference is not being able to get cut down. In every moment, Seirin has felt the difference in ability with Rakuzan, that no matter what Seirin do, the difference is still there. However, Seirin still has not gave up. When fishing for a large fish, to catch it, one should have the will to and not use tactics to.[73]

Hyuga decides to go back to the court at the start of the 4th quarter, despite having 4 fouls and with 10 minutes to play, hence it is a risk. On Rakuzan's bench, the team decides to continue playing as they have as to now let Seirin catch up to them in points. Akashi tells Mibuchi, Hayama and Nebuya to beware, since Seirin has still not given up. Both teams return on the court after the break. Seirin do their cheer before coming back.[74]

4th Quarter

The break is over, and both teams return to the court. Koganei still jokes with Hyūga before the start of the final quarter. Kuroko tells Hyūga that no matter what happens, it is already the final 10 minutes, to which Hyūga feels disgusted. Before the start, Kagami said that the situation is not really good, as the problem is about the time, that he could not last for a longer time, but since he is facing Akashi, he will not reserve his energy, and that he will play whatever best he can. 

Kuroko uses the Ignite Pass

Start of 4th quarter, and Kuroko fires an Ignite Pass towards Hyūga, who gets marked by Mibuchi.[75] A flashback to the break before the 4th quarter, Hyūga asked Riko to help him stop the shivering of his hands. He received a big smack on the back from Riko, and his hands stopped shivering. Back to the game, Hyūga shoots a 3-pointer in front of Mibuchi and it goes in, to which he comments that the release was quite fast.[76]

Seirin moves to defense

Mibuchi thought because Hyūga already has 4 fouls, the latter could not do much against him, but instead Hyūga's movements become faster than before. Hyūga then shouts to co-ordinate the Seirin team to defend. The audience then says that the return of Hyūga has really motivated the team well, and Ōtsubo thinks that Hyūga's voice is good, in terms of quality.[77] There are many types of captains, and they cannot just be judged as the best, example being Kiyoshi, his voice being generous could give security to the team, and Izuki's voice could calm the team down. And then there's Hyūga's voice, strong and powerful, suitable for a captain that can raise the team's morale. However, Seirin's defence being good is one, Hyūga himself is currently the problem, as he currently already have 4 fouls, and he has to not get fouled out within the final 10 minutes. Without a superb level of concentration, there is no chance that it would happen. 

Hyūga moves to stop Mibuchi's shot

Back to the game, Mibuchi has the ball, with Hyūga defending.[78] Hayama discovers that Hyūga is looking and marking Mibuchi differently; looking at him but not completely looking at him. Mibuchi then leans back and goes for the Heaven shot, but Hyūga already predicted it. However, Mibuchi actually made a fake, and then go for an Earth shot, this being able to make Hyūga foul out. Mibuchi got surprised that Hyūga didn't jump, thinking that the latter also predicted it.[79]

Mibuchi eventually missed the shot.[80] In the fight for the rebound, Nebuya felt that Kiyoshi got stronger in strength than before. However, this attempt to grab the rebound from Kiyoshi is dangerous, as Imayoshi analysed that if Kiyoshi did not get injured, he would be even stronger. The current Kiyoshi playing on the court is unknowingly controlling his strength in order not to prevent his injury from worsening at a faster speed. As long as he stopped controlling, he gets stronger. However, this could lead to unforseen consequences to his legs.[81]

Kiyoshi gets the rebound

Hyūga panics and silently says that Kiyoshi is foolish, while the latter silently apologized to Hyūga, and thought that looking at the rest of team working hard, but still could not produce result, while he is just thinking of his injury and the team's future, then making a choice. Although Kiyoshi still could not box out Nebuya, Hyūga thought that he knew that Seirin would be in this state, that even if Hyūga had advised to Kiyoshi, the latter still won't listen. Even if Kiyoshi got forcefully substituted, he could make Riko cry, and come up to the court again. Eventually Kiyoshi will still be like himself, so Hyūga decided not to stop him, and shouted to Kiyoshi that being an experienced center, he should not lose to a buff fool like Nebuya.[82]

Kiyoshi then quickly spins over Nebuya, and it is a quick one. Kiyoshi grabs the rebound, makes a full court pass to Kagami, who lays it in. Seirin is then down by 15, 73 - 88.[83]

Mibuchi says to Hyūga that the latter's not bad, and wants to take him down. Hyūga responds that he couldn't ask for more. Hayama sees that Mibuchi is still calm despite being outplayed by Hyūga in the 4th quarter, but what worries Hayama more is Nebuya, who also lost to Kiyoshi in the 4th quarter. Nebuya is very agitated, and Hayama tells him that he should calm down, or he'll get outplayed even more. He also tells Nebuya that Kiyoshi is very powerful and of the same standards as Rakuzan players, if not for his leg injury, thinking that the difference in power between Nebuya and Kiyoshi is not really big.[84]

Kagami pressures Akashi

Rakuzan inbounds, and Mayuzumi is surprised that Akashi did not say anything, and since the 3rd quarter, the offense is focused on the 1-vs-1s Mibuchi, Hayama and Nebuya take on. He thought that even though Akashi is the control tower of Rakuzan, the latter's attack might have gone relaxed already. He questioned whether it is another tactic, or is it that with Kagami on the court, even Akashi had given up on attacking.[85]

Nebuya senses something uneasy, thinking that Kagami's killer intensity is getting higher. Akashi passes the ball to Mibuchi, setting up another Hyūga-Mibuchi battle. Mibuchi is very worried, thinking that now Hyūga has measures to counter his 3 ways of shooting, so he decided that this matchup would be decided whether Hyūga can block his unstoppable Oblivion shot. However, Hyūga has 4 fouls, and that him being placed at the start of the 4th quarter means that he already has some thoughts on how to stop the Oblivion shot. Mibuchi is now hesitating whether to shoot a 3-pointer or to pass the ball. He then decides to take a 3-pointer, and thought that him as a shooter, he has some confidence and some mistrust on both Heaven and Earth shots, but his feelings that has been put towards the Oblivion shot is way more than the other 2.[86] Moreover, as a Rakuzan player, he must not back out, and he decided to place all his pride on this Oblivion shot. 

Hyūga blocks Mibuchi's Oblivion

Hyūga feels that his back is still painful, and it has been a few minutes. He thinks that this hard slap on the back from Riko contains Kiyoshi and the team's expectations, hence he wants to convert them into the energy he needs to block the Oblivion shot.[87] When Mibuchi is about to make the Oblivion shot, Himuro discovered the theory behind it.

However, even if Hyūga has realized, if he does not stop his squatting and jumps early, Mibuchi also can stop his attempt. If the jumping height is the same, it would be advantageous in blocking the shot, but there is a difference in height between Hyūga and Mibuchi. Until there, it is just pure theory, and to have that remaining energy to be zero is unthinkable, but if there is a little bit of energy, humans can have big changes due to his belief. Hyūga is merely wanting to win, so he puts in his all.[88]

Kiyoshi prepares to dunk before passing to Hyūga

Hyūga manages to block the Oblivion shot, and it's Seirin's counter attack.[89] Rakuzan's defense has been ripped, ever since Hyūga's return, which widens Seirin's defense, hence leaving the inside open, allowing Kuroko's ability to direct passes to come back to life.[90] Kuroko deflects the pass to Kiyoshi, who challenges a fast reacting Nebuya. Kiyoshi smiled, and using his Right of Postponement, he passed to an open Hyūga, who hits an open 3-pointer, from a perfect shooting pose and with no mistakes when in counter attack. Seirin are now just down by 12, 76 - 88.[91]

Kiyoshi dunks

Seirin are in high spirits and want to get even more points to get back into the game, and the team decides to use S.A.M defense tactic when Rakuzan inbounds. The tactic worked, credits going to Kagami's Zone that covered most of the defense, which allows Kuroko to intercept the ball at any time.[92] Kuroko managed to intercept the ball, passing it to Kiyoshi, who battles Nebuya under the post. Nebuya is shocked that Kiyoshi's way of play would break the latter's legs, thinking that the latter does not want his legs anymore. Then, Kiyoshi makes a quick spin on Nebuya, and dunks the ball in.[93] Now it is just a 10 point game, 78 - 88.

Akashi enters the Zone

Akashi then tells Mibuchi that the next possession would be the last for the rest of the team to attack, then makes a good pass to break the S.A.M defense tactic, and then Akashi just stays on the defense side of the court. Many of the audience are surprised as to what Akashi might be thinking.[94] The advice to be given, it is actually that the conditions to enter the Zone varies, and Akashi's condition is that when he decided that he would not rely on ordering others to get the win, but to get the win all by himself. It simply means that he is very disappointed in the rest of the team thus giving up on the team. 

Back to the match, Kagami makes the steal, and he now faces only Akashi. Kagami thinks that Rakuzan would not be able to defend the Meteor Jam like in the first half. Just as when Kagami is about to make the jump, Akashi steals the ball away.[95] It is then revealed to Seirin that Akashi has entered the Zone.[96]

Akashi overwhelms Seirin

After stealing the ball, Akashi makes his way to the other side of the court, but Kagami is fast, chasing Akashi. However, the distance between the two just gets further as Akashi is even faster.[97] Izuki and Hyūga then attempt to stop Akashi, but both got down on their knees by the latter's Ankle Break. Then, Kiyoshi and Kuroko try to stop Akashi, but both got fooled by Akashi's fake, and the latter got past the two, and makes the basket. Rakuzan are now up by 12, 78 - 90.[98]

Seirin immediately took a time out soon after. While in the time out, Kagami decided to take on Akashi himself, with his core teammates supporting his decision, as when it comes to facing the Generation of Miracles, the Seirin team hand the game to the ace, Kagami. The whole Seirin team entrusted the game to Kagami, as they put their hands on him.[99]

Kagami is ready to face Akashi again

At the audience seat, Imayoshi asked Aomine what the latter meant about going deep into the Zone. It means that when one enters the Zone, there is a huge door and when it is opened, he is like submerging into the water. As his concentration grows, he sinks deeper and deeper until you really reached the Zone. However, there is another huge door there, and a faceless "Gate-keeper" standing in front. Aomine himself has never opened that second door, but he knows that after opening it, one would enter the Zone that surpasses the first Zone. If Kagami wants to defeat Akashi, he would have to open the second door.[100]

Akashi mocks Kagami

Now Seirin attacks, and where Akashi stands when in defense is like Kagami in the Zone, very wide.[101] The audience are very surprised that Akashi wants to stop using his other 4 teammates and defend Seirin just by himself. Akashi then makes another very quick steal from a Hyūga pass to Kagami, then makes his own fast break, at a very fast speed. However, Kagami manages to get back to stop Akashi, but the latter makes the Ankle Break on Kagami and the latter falls, but gets up quickly and goes back again to defend Akashi. Kagami eventually falls and Akashi makes the jump shot, mocking Kagami for his useless struggle.[102] The Rakuzan lead is now 14, 78 - 92.

Imayoshi then said that, if Akashi does not want to rely on his teammates anymore, the match currently would be like Seirin VS Touou, a 1-vs-1 between 2 players in the Zone. During that match, as both Kagami and Aomine are on par, both did not score much, but in the current match, Akashi has the very wide advantage over Kagami. Comparing to Akashi, Aomine may be better in scoring, Murasakibara is better in defense, but Akashi's Emperor Eye, that could predict the future movements, is the superb ability, which could stop anyone regardless of how fast or tall the opponent is.[103] In the end, if Seirin wants to stop Akashi's Emperor Eye, Kagami has to have his own Emperor Eye, which he does not.[104]

The ball goes out of bounds

Back to the match, Kagami gets the ball swiped by Akashi making it go out of bounds. Kagami now feels extremely sad and is in tears, thinking that no matter how hard he plays now, he could not get better at this stage. What's more, he has entered deep into the Zone and is now at the second door, but somehow he just cannot not open it. He thought that in order to beat Akashi, that door has to be opened, but even if Kagami does not put his hope onto opening the second door, he has to force the "Gate-keeper" to make way for him, meaning that just waiting would not let the "Gate-keeper" make way.[105]

Kuroko and Kagami team up to face Akashi

Kuroko then approaches Kagami, telling Kagami that the latter should give up temporarily, which surprised the team. Kuroko then explained that he is not intending to ask Kagami to give up the match, but the 1-vs-1 against Akashi tactic. Kuroko then asks Kagami to let him join in the 1-vs-1 match-up. At first, Kagami thought that he should be given some more time so that he could finally defeat Akashi, but he thought again, that he should already have learnt his lesson. Since he could not open the Zone's second door, he should do what he has to do first. In the end, Kagami agreed to let Kuroko help him defeat Akashi, and Rakuzan.[106]

Akashi stops Kiyoshi from scoring

Hyūga asks Kuroko what will Kagami and Kuroko do when facing Akashi. Kuroko replied that as he was watching from the bench, he saw that the difference between Kagami and Akashi is just the former's lack of Emperor Eye, so Kuroko said that he would try to make up for that lack.[107]

Izuki considered the defensive range of Akashi in the Zone and the latter's Emperor Eye being able to stop any player, and thinks that he should be equal or better than Murasakibara, hence he decided to make high speed passes outside the defensive range of Akashi. Izuki passes to Kuroko, then the latter quickly passes to Kiyoshi, who quickly spins over Nebuya and goes to dunk, but is unexpectedtly blocked by Akashi.[108]

Now Rakuzan counter attacks, with Akashi immediately getting the ball, heading to the other side of the court at a high speed. If Seirin does not stop this attack, the game is completely over for Seirin. Kuroko and Kagami goes to defend Akashi. However, the positions of the duo are unusual, with Kagami in front and Kuroko at the back, instead of the usual double-team, which surprises Akashi, as he thinks Kuroko could not keep up with the pace of him and Kagami, then thought that by supporting behind would be even more useless than double-teaming.[109]

Kuroko catches up to Akashi...

As Akashi thinks that the Emperor Eye's defense is undefeatable, he goes for the cross over, as he fakes left and Kagami fell for it, but as Akashi crosses to the right, Kuroko also switches right in front of him, which shocks many.[110] The audience said that Kuroko did not even look at Akashi, but Kagami's movements. Kuroko moved in a direction opposite to where Kagami is moving, hence being able to keep up. 

... and steals the ball

This tactic by Kuroko is different from Akashi's Emperor Eye, as it requires Kuroko as vision bait, observation and the partner he has been with, which is Kagami. Between Kuroko and Kagami, there is a lot of trust as both of them have been together for some time, developing a lot of trust. Because of this large amount of trust between the two, Kuroko can see the future, even further than Akashi. Hence, this is Kuroko's dedicated Emperor Eye, seeing the future of his teammates. [111]

Kuroko uses his Quasi-Emperor Eye

Kuroko swipes the ball away from Akashi, and Kagami gets the ball.[112] Now it changes to a counter attack by Seirin, as Akashi just stands there, feeling humiliated for the first time. Unable to accept this, an angered Akashi chases Kagami, who drove past Hayama easily.[113]

Kagami dunks on Akashi

As Kagami starts to move, Kuroko purposely takes the ball away from him to prevent Akashi from stealing it.[114] Kagami jumps from an alley-oop but Akashi caught up and prepares to block him in the air. Determined for his team and carrying their will, Kagami dunks and even knocked Akashi down to the floor. Akashi is shocked as he made two mistakes in a row.[115]

The plan that Kuroko and Kagami made took down Akashi successfully, is named "Emperor Eye Plan". It means that Kuroko has to calculate beforehand to catch up with Kagami in the Zone. Then when Kagami moves, he should not think of Kuroko, and it is all up to the latter to decide Kagami's next move. A 100% trust from Kagami to Kuroko is there, hence this plan is made possible.

Akashi is out of the Zone

At the audience bench, the Generation of Miracles discuss about Akashi finally feeling defeat for the first time. Akashi, now out of the Zone, misses a 3-point shot and Kiyoshi grabs the rebound with his Vice Claw. At the other side, Kagami make another shot, to make Seirin needing just 10 points to tie the game, 82 - 92.[116]

Akashi has become very confused, as he continues to make mistakes and lose points, making him losing his sanity. Timeout is called, as the score is 86 - 92, Seirin being behind by just 6 points, with 6 minutes to play. People may think Rakuzan would have to take a timeout, but instead, Seirin is the one calling for it. It is because Seirin thinks Kagami is starting to reach his limits. After understanding the current situation, Kagami is to remain in the game.[117]

Kuroko passes...

Timeout is over, and it's Rakuzan's ball. Seirin is glad that Akashi stopped his one-man attack and passes to Mibuchi. Mibuchi tries for the Earth 3-pointer, with Hyuga realizing it's too late, but the shot misses, due to the rhythm being off.[118] Seirin counters, and Hayama is angry that Akashi actually returned slower than Hayama, as Hyuga converts a layup. 88 - 92 is now the score, with Seirin needing 4 more to tie the game.

... and Kagami dunks

Kiyoshi asks Kuroko whether the latter is worrying about Akashi, with the reply from Kuroko that there is no leisure for him to do that.[119] Kagami intercepts another pass, and it's Seirin's counter fast break. Kuroko makes the alley-oop Ignite Pass to Kagami, who dunks it in easily. The score is now 90 - 92, as Seirin just needs another basket to tie the game. 

Nebuya is very angry about Akashi's loss of spirit after the latter's first defeat to Kagami and Kuroko, and grabbed him by the jersey. Rakuzan calls for a timeout then, as Mayuzumi is thinking of something.[120]

The coach of Rakuzan could not believe that Akashi is extremely affected by the defeat to Kuroko and Kagami, as his killer move has been stopped by the latter two, which gives an extreme mental breakdown to Akashi. In order not to affect the team's play, the coach intended to substitute Akashi, but Mayuzumi approaches the coach to wait first as he wants to talk to Akashi.[121]

Mayuzumi approaches Akashi

However, Mayuzumi lashed out on Akashi instead, saying that the very arrogant Akashi he saw has only this much tolerance when being defeated, which disappoints Mayuzumi. Mayuzumi merely said what he wanted to say from deep in his heart, and though it did not show much of his understanding of Akashi, these words turned out to be the key of something.[122]

Akashi remembers his childhood and the events which led to him creating his other self due to his own weakness. The death of his mother, who was his support had passed away, leaving a huge impact on Akashi.[123] Due to his mother's death, Akashi's father had increased his studies, giving him little free time. When he enrolled into Teiko, he has found a place where he could escape his duties. However, when the Generation of Miracles began awakening their talents, Akashi had no place where he could feel free, thus awakening his other conscious.

The real Akashi reawakens

He thought that when he entered high school, he would be everyone's enemy, which is somehow good so as long as he waits, he would get defeated.[124] He also thought that he would not be able to maintain the teammates' relationships, and those mistakes he made would not be gone, therefore being everyone's enemy would be the best for him. 

As Akashi is still in thought, he thought that initially he wanted to leave the other side of him to get completely defeated, and it feels like having a useless younger brother, which is going to be gone soon. However, at this point of time, having this person in his body for too long makes him not wanting to part. Another most important thing is, his impulse to play basketball and to win is because of Kuroko who cannot be controlled. Akashi then snapped out of his thought, replying to Mayuzumi that asking him that he is too hurtful, and replied with extreme confidence that he is of course Seijūrō Akashi.[125]

Kagami faces the other Akashi

He followed up with an apology, to the disbelief of his fellow teammates. Akashi then recovered himself, telling the team that he will once again help Rakuzan defeat Seirin. TImeout is over and it is now Rakuzan ball. Kagami faces Akashi, who is holding the ball. However, the former felt some chills, which differs from what Kagami had felt earlier on. Akashi then pulls a crossover, attempting to get past Kagami. As Akashi fakes left and goes right, Kuroko already anticipated this and moves in front of Akashi, using his Quasi Emperor Eye. Kuroko is about to reach for the ball, but Akashi smiled and tells Kuroko "Long time no see".[126]

Akashi evades both Kagami and Kuroko

Then, the ball finds Mibuchi, at a quick speed. He is wide open, and hits a 3-pointer well. After that, Akashi praises him, much to the disbelief of Mibuchi, who thought that Akashi never did that before. Moreover, the pass was so smooth and perfect that it made through Akashi's coordination with Mibuchi, therefore the latter was able to hit the 3-pointer comfortably.[127]

The Generation of Miracles said that the pass was like how Akashi passed to them during their time together in Teiko, then quickly realised that the old Akashi has returned, much to the shock of them. Kuroko then tells Seirin that he is not sure of what Akashi's loss has turned the latter into, but knows that when the old Akashi has returned, he would be even harder to handle than before. Kagami gets excited, as he thinks the real show has started.[128]

Rakuzan enters the Zone

With 3 minutes left, it is 96 - 101, Rakuzan is up by 5 points. Kagami still is worried about the chills he felt, and Seirin then realised that Akashi had entered the Zone once again, surprising them. Akashi tells Kagami that what the latter was worried about would not happen.[129] Akashi then said that himself entering the Zone merely returned to his condition before, and there would not be much change in the Akashi that Seirin is playing against. However, he also warned that his other 4 teammates that there is a need to worry, as it is shown that the other 4 players have entered the Zone too.[130]

Kagami runs out of the Zone

In Seirin's possession, Hyuga receives the ball but is confronted by a Zoned Mibuchi and decides to pass the ball but is stolen by a Zoned Hayama. Hayama uses his five fingers against Kagami but can't pass him and instead passes the ball to Akashi who passes it to a Zoned Mayuzumi.[131] Reluctant at first, Mayuzumi gives an alley-oop to a Zoned Nebuya but a persistent Kagami tries to block him. Akashi notes that 'the air is not a place for him anymore' as Kagami fails to reach Nebuya who dunks on him. Clashing with 5 players in the Zone all at once proved to be too hard for Kagami as he runs out of stamina and can barely stand.[132] Hyuga attempts to shoot a Barrier Jumper against Mibuchi but is blocked and Nebuya rebounds the ball. Hayama passes Izuki but Kuroko tried to help but ended up fouling Hayama because he doesn't have the speed to keep up.[133]

Ogiwara calls out to Kuroko

Rakuzan's overwhelming strength left Seirin in despair again and everything seems to be futile despite all of their efforts. Shigehiro, who appears to be watching from the crowd shouts at Kuroko and refuels his spirit. He is also shown to be carrying a basketball signifying that he has regained his love for the sport.[134] Kuroko cries in happiness after seeing his childhood friend again. Aomine also stands and shouts, followed by Kise and Midorima and everyone else who came to watch. Kuroko weeps his tears and everyone in Seirin regains their fighting spirit. Reaching his limit, Kagami is determined to open the 2nd door of the Zone.[135]

Kuroko revealed as the person standing in front of Zone's 2nd gate as it is opened to Kagami

The game continues and Kagami is determined to open the 2nd door of the Zone. The familiar faces in the crowd note Kagami's intentions but question if he can really enter it, as it is Seirin's last chance to win. On the court, Akashi notices a change in the Seirin players. There is no notable change in them but the immense pressure they are giving off. Akashi passes the ball to Hayama who receives it and tries to shoot. He is, however, confronted by Kagami who tries to block him. Hayama notes that Kagami has entered the Zone for the third time. Knowing it could happen, Hayama predicted it and evades but is blocked by Hyūga instead.[136] Rakuzan is surprised by Seirin's tactics.

Akashi notices that Seirin is synchronising their plays to match Kagami's and wonders how they are able to do that. On the sidelines, Aomine realises what the real Zone is, something which Akashi realises as well.[137] Aomine laughs in realisation that there is no 'gatekeeper' before the 2nd door, but actually Kuroko who is standing there. Aomine sheds tears as he understands the reason he himself could not open the 2nd door, as he has thrown away everything long ago.

Direct Drive Zone

Kagami finally enters Zone's 2nd door from which all of his teammates emerge from.[138] Kagami and Kuroko continue their coodirnation play along with the rest of the team, which is the Direct Drive Zone.[139]

Kiyoshi coordinates with Kagami

In order to keep up with Kagami's Direct Drive Zone, relying on thinking will not work, but instead believing in their intuitions would be needed, which means trusting their partners better. As this promise has been made, Kagami quickly passes the ball to Kiyoshi, who immediately switched the direction of the ball, to create an opening for Kagami, who dunks it in ferociously.[140] 98 - 103, 5 points down for Seirin. This basket is made so quickly no one in the audience could catch up.

Rakuzan are astonished by the way the Direct Drive Zone works for Seirin, as a team. They are also surprised at the fact that the Direct Drive Zone is the real identity of the Zone.[141] The next possession for Rakuzan is a must-stop for Seirin, or else it'll be over.

Kuroko steals the ball

It's Hyuga against Mibuchi again, and Mibuchi goes for the Heaven shot, Hyuga tries to block, but then realised the former faked him. Going past Hyuga, Mibuchi tries to shoot again, but Akashi shouts at him to pass, as Mibuchi has fallen under the trap of Kagami, who tries to block. Mibuchi felt annoyed that he'll get blocked, so he passes to Nebuya, but the ball got stolen away thanks to Kuroko's Quasi-Emperor Eye.[142]

Akashi scores

Now Seirin counter attacks, and Seirin are still under the Direct Drive Zone from Kagami. The ball ends up with Hyuga, going for the three, but missed.[143] Although the basket missed, the advantage still goes to Seirin, as the team attack with the help of Direct Drive Zone would be way faster than the reaction of Akashi's Emperor Eye. All Seirin has to do is to stop the next attack from Rakuzan and Seirin can get 2 points, reducing Rakuzan's lead to just 5.

With 48 seconds left, Akashi takes on Kagami. Kagami falls from the Ankle Break from Akashi, who knocks down the jumper, and said that the eventual winner will still be him.[144] 98 - 105 now, with only just 41 seconds left, Seirin are really critically hit with the jumper from Akashi.

Kagami is double-teamed

Back to Seirin's attack, Rakuzan have applied intense pressure of defense on Seirin, and they have decided to double-team Kagami.[145] As Izuki cannot pass to Kagami, Kiyoshi called for the ball, and goes to the post against Nebuya. With less than 30 seconds left, Kuroko called for the ball from Hyuga, then the latter and Kuroko made a laternal Long Pass, which Seirin have also used before on Yosen.[146]

Izuki's Eagle Spear

Kagami eventually received the ball, and shoots a 3-pointer, with Hayama and Mayazumi's hands on his face. It went it, and it's 101 - 105, still 4 points down with about 27 seconds left. Now Seirin has to stop this ball no matter what. However, it's Rakuzan's attack and they decided to just use the clock. Everyone else is tensed up at this moment, but only Izuki is still calm and cool.[147] Izuki kept telling himself to calm down, as he analysed Rakuzan's plays at this moment.

Izuki then guessed that since Kiyoshi is at his limits, Rakuzan would find a way to get the ball to Nebuya to score, which is correct. As Mibuchi passes to Nebuya, Izuki intercepted it. With only 8 seconds left, Seirin are pulling a final fast break.[148]

Hyūga copies Mibuchi's Earth

After stealing the ball, Izuki is in the possession of it as only eight seconds of the game remain. The crowd note that this is Seirin's last attack. Izuki intends on passing to Kagami but Kagami is guarded by both Akashi and Mayuzumi.[149] Hyūga calls out to Izuki instead as Izuki passes the ball to him. Hyūga receives the ball and prepares to shoot. Mibuchi decides to maintain Rakuzan's pride and tries to stop Hyūga and his shot. Hyūga realises that the best choice at the moment is to copy Mibuchi's shot, which he has seen many times during the game. Hyūga manages to copy Mibuchi's Earth Shot and successfully scores the basket.[150] This surprised both of the teams.

The basket counts and Hyūga receives one free throw due to the nature of the Earth Shot where it forces the opposite player to foul the user, in this case; Mibuchi. Seirin still has a chance of winning as they overjoy over Hyūga's shot. Meanwhile, Mibuchi regrets his decision to guard Hyūga and apologises to his teammates. Akashi reassures him not to worry but to focus on the rebound.[151]

Kiyoshi goes for the rebound

The Seirin players gather as they decide to entrust the rebound to Kiyoshi. Hyūga and the rest of the players get into their positions as they await Hyūga's throw. Hyūga sheds some tears before his throw, realising this is the last game he will be able to play with everyone including Kiyoshi.[152] Hyūga and Kiyoshi remember the memories of everything that has happened up until now, everything which has led them to where they are today. Hopes and all of the effort they have shown up until now was for this very moment as Hyūga believes Kiyoshi will get the rebound. The ball doesn't go in as Kiyoshi goes for the rebound with Nebuya and Mibuchi jumping for the ball as well.[153]

The buzzer beater rings

Kiyoshi receives the rebound as his teammates on the bench cheer, while Rakuzan get into defense positions. The Rakuzan team now wonder who Kiyoshi will pass the ball to. Mayuzumi notices Kuroko move and thought that he would be receiving the ball. Kuroko does get the ball as he prepares to shoot.[154] The Rakuzan players note that Kuroko did not shoot during the game and realise it must have been for this very moment. Akashi moves to stop Kuroko from shooting as he tells him that it is over.[155] Kuroko tells him otherwise and adds that he is a 'shadow'. Kuroko shoots and Akashi realises that it is an alley-oop with Kagami as Kagami dunks and scores. Both teams, including the audience are shocked as the buzzer beater rings. Seirin emerge as the victors of the Winter Cup finals.[156]


Seirin announced as winners

The whole of Seirin celebrate as they are announced as this year's champions of the Winter Cup.[157] Meanwhile, the Rakuzan players are shocked with their defeat. Akashi realises that this is his first defeat as he describes his loss as some kind of pain in his chest, not sure how he will be able to maintain calm while lining up. However, it is due to this pain that he appreciates playing basketball, and being able to meet Kuroko.[158]

Akashi congratulates Kuroko and Seirin on their victory

Akashi approaches Kuroko, extending his arm for a handshake while shedding tears. He congratulates Kuroko and Seirin on their victory but tells them that next time Rakuzan will be the victors. Kuroko cries as well as he tells Akashi that they will play again for sure. The closing ceremony commences and Seirin receive their trophies and the Winter Cup. Seirin's opponents in the audience start leave, ready for their new training for future tournaments. They will surely be facing each other again.[159]

A few weeks later, it is shown that Kuroko has celebrated his birthday with his past teammates from Teikō.[160] This shows that their friendship has been renewed and that they are back as they used to be before their second and third years in Teikō.


  • For the first time:
    • Every Seirin player has been used at least once. This also marks the debut of Hiroshi Fukuda and Kōichi Kawahara in an official match.
    • Akashi entered the Zone in an official match.
    • Kagami entered the Zone three times in a game. 
    • A second level of the Zone is revealed and used. Kagami was able to gain access to this.
    • Akashi made a turnover and was defeated for the first time, losing his confidence and gave way to his real self.
    • Kuroko has stopped a person in the Zone.
    • Kuroko's own Emperor Eye is revealed.
  • The match reunites almost all the characters of the Kuroko no Basket series.


  1. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 228, page 14
  2. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 228, page 20
  3. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 229, page 19
  4. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 230, page 23
  5. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 230, page 25
  6. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 232, page 4
  7. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 232, page 12
  8. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 232, page 17
  9. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 233, page 6
  10. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 233, page 20
  11. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 234, page 15
  12. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 234, page 19
  13. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 235, page 21
  14. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 236, page 11
  15. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 236, page 17
  16. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 237, page 9
  17. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 237, page 19
  18. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 238, page 20
  19. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 239, page 19
  20. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 239, page 21
  21. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 240, page 20
  22. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 241, page 16
  23. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 241, page 20
  24. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 242, page 21
  25. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 243, page 21
  26. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 244, page 9
  27. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 244, page 20
  28. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 245, page 19
  29. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 246, page 17
  30. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 246, page 14
  31. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 246, page 20
  32. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 247, page 11
  33. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 247, page 15
  34. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 247, page 17
  35. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 247, page 20
  36. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 248, page 6
  37. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 248, page 14
  38. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 248, page 20
  39. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 249, page 6
  40. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 249, page 10
  41. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 249, page 17
  42. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 249, page 18
  43. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 250, page 4
  44. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 250, page 8
  45. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 250, page 16
  46. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 250, page 18
  47. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 250, page 19
  48. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 251, page 15
  49. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 251, page 21
  50. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 252, page 4
  51. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 252, page 10
  52. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 252, page 18
  53. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 252, page 20
  54. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 253, page 13
  55. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 253, page 14
  56. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 253, page 20
  57. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 254, page 11
  58. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 254, page 17
  59. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 254, page 20
  60. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 8
  61. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 12
  62. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 13
  63. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 14
  64. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 17
  65. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 17
  66. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 18
  67. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 255, page 21
  68. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 256, page 4
  69. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 256, page 8
  70. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 256, page 9
  71. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 256, page 19
  72. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 256, page 21
  73. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 257, page 6
  74. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 257, page 14
  75. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 257, page 18
  76. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 257, page 20
  77. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 9
  78. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 10
  79. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 13
  80. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 15
  81. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 17
  82. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 18
  83. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 258, page 19
  84. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 6
  85. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 7
  86. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 11
  87. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 12
  88. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 15
  89. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 16
  90. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 18
  91. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 259, page 20
  92. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 260, page 11
  93. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 260, page 13
  94. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 260, page 16
  95. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 260, page 19
  96. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 260, page 20
  97. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 261, page 6
  98. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 261, page 9
  99. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 261, page 15
  100. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 261, page 19
  101. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 6
  102. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 10
  103. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 13
  104. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 14
  105. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 16
  106. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 19
  107. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 262, page 20
  108. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 263, page 9
  109. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 263, page 12
  110. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 263, page 14
  111. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 263, page 16
  112. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 263, page 17
  113. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 264, page 5
  114. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 264, page 7
  115. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 264, page 13
  116. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 264, page 20
  117. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 265, page 8
  118. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 265, page 11
  119. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 265, page 14
  120. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 265, page 19
  121. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 266, page 5
  122. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 266, page 7
  123. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 266, page 10
  124. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 266, page 18
  125. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 266, page 20
  126. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 267, page 9
  127. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 267, page 12
  128. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 267, page 14
  129. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 267, page 19
  130. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 267, page 20
  131. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 268, page 15
  132. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 268, page 20
  133. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 269, page 11
  134. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 269, page 16
  135. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 269, page 20
  136. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 270, page 11
  137. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 270, page 14
  138. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 270, page 16
  139. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 270, page 16
  140. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 271, page 4
  141. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 271, page 7
  142. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 271, page 11
  143. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 271, page 14
  144. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 271, page 16
  145. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 272, page 4
  146. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 272, page 8
  147. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 272, page 13
  148. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 272, page 17
  149. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 273, page 3
  150. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 273, page 7
  151. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 273, page 10
  152. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 273, page 13
  153. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 273, page 18
  154. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 274, page 7
  155. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 274, page 9
  156. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 274, page 15
  157. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 275, page 3
  158. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 275, page 7
  159. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 275, page 10
  160. Kuroko no Basuke chapter 275, page 17