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Battle of the Real Deals
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Chapter 12th
Title Battle of the Real Deals
Chapter guide
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Chapter 11
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Chapter 13


Summary

The match begins, and Rukawa manages to tie with Akagi for the tip-off, to the team's shock. Sakuragi remembers how he struggled in his match against Akagi, but then realizes that since he beat Akagi, if Akagi beat Rukawa, that would mean that he's better than Rukawa. Sakuragi begins to dream about Rukawa leaving the team after being defeated and Haruko, realizing that he's better than Rukawa, will fall in love with him. However, Ayako snaps Sakuragi back into reality as Rukawa steals the ball from Akagi. Yasuda tries to block Rukawa, but is fouled for pushing. On the sidelines, Haruko is torn because while she wants Rukawa to win, she doesn't want her brother to lose either. However, Ayako thinks Rukawa's team will still lose because they're new, but Haruko points out the story of how Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a player for the Lakers, led his team of freshmen at UCLA to victory against the national championship-winning starters. Ayako says that Rukawa isn't Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Haruko counters that Shohoku is nothing like UCLA. Ayako continues to poke fun at Rukawa and Haruko, to Sakuragi's delight and Haruko's chagrin, as Akagi and Rukawa begin to get annoyed at the ruckus they are causing.

As the match continues, Kogure, Shiozaki, Yasuda, and Kakuta all step in to box Rukawa, and Yasuda rushes toward him, but Rukawa gets around him. Kogure tries to block Rukawa, and Rukawa fakes him out and prepares to shoot, but Akagi swats the shot down. The starters break down the court and Akagi dunks, which the team calls the Gorilla Dunk (Akagi hates this name). Sakuragi, Haruko, and Ayako all get interested in Akagi's playing, but Ayako tells them that despite Rukawa's cool exterior, he's furious inside. 

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