As the match continues, Kogure shoots but misses, and Rukawa manages to get the rebound, proving Ayako right. Sakuragi, not wanting Rukawa to win, tells the starters to stop Rukawa, but Rukawa gets around all of them. A desperate Sakuragi begs them to foul Rukawa, and Shiozaki accidentaly does, to Sakuragi's delight. Rukawa then takes his free throws, which confuses Sakuragi as he doesn't know what free throws are. The first shot makes it in, but Sakuragi contorts his face in front of Rukawa as he prepares to make his second shot. However, Rukawa pays no attention to Sakuragi as his second shot makes it in. Akagi reprimands Sakuragi for acting stupid and Sakuragi asks the coach if he can play now, but Ayako puts him back in his place.
Haruko wants him to cheer for Rukawa's team with her, but Sakuragi refuses, to Haruko's confusion. Marveling at how clueless Haruko is, Ayako has Sakuragi sit and the corner while Sakuragi tries to convince himself that the reason he's not playing is because he's too much better than all of them. Back in the game, Akagi shoots, but Rukawa manages to swat it down, to everyone's shock. Rukawa and his team then break for the other side and Rukawa dunks. Akagi now knows that Rukawa is the real deal, while Sakuragi realizes that he's been captivated by Rukawa.