Sannoh Industry Affiliated High School (山王工高 Sannoh Kougyou) is the basketball team of Akita prefecture that has been the defending national champion for 3 years and is ranked as an AA team. They are considered the top high school team in Japan and have been a dominant force in high school basketball for years.
Although Sannoh boasts to be the number one high school in Japan, they never let their guard down once, even when facing relatively weak teams. This was shown when the team carefully analyzes every player of what is considered C rank Shohoku team and drafts up a strategy that leaves no chances for the opponent. They even go to the extent to play with college students to mimic their play with Shohoku the night before the match.
The team assembled has beaten last year Sannoh team which is considered to be the best team throughout Sannoh's history. However, they were overthrown by the nameless Shohoku of Kanagawa and this defeat opened the windows for other teams towards the Nationals Championship.
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The team has mastered the full court press defense and can trap even the fastest point guards and immobilize their opponents' offense.
While the effectiviness of their style is great for both defense and offense, Kainan's coach Riki Takato thought that they should change from the closed up defense to a time buying one during the last minutes of Sannoh's game against Shohoku, since they had the lead and Shohoku was dangerously closing the points gap.
Nonetheless, Sannoh's coach Goro Domoto thought they would win fair and square against their opponents instead of using time delaying strategies by using the invincible team's favorite tactic, which would eventually be proven wrong by Shohoku's comeback victory.
The team has no notable weaknesses, except for 1. Once they start giving the privilege of 1 on 1 situations to Sawakita, they tend to forget that a 2nd defender may appear to help and block him. This has been the case, since Sakuragi purposely jumped to block Sawakita because he knew Akagi would be there to block. The main problem is Sawakita's lack of concentration, since Rukawa started to pass, which made the ball move into different paths, distracting him. Sakuragi's intentions also bothered Sawakita which gave Rukawa the upper hand thus, Shohoku continued to trim their lead and eventually, make a comeback victory.
It could be said, also, that one of Sannoh's players, the freshman Mikio Kawata, was not ready for his first game, relying on one single movement to score points and in his great height and physique to counter Hanamichi during the first part of the game and Akagi during the last part, which would be proven as ineffective against Hanamichi's unusual strength, greater speed and athleticism and Akagi's natural strength and experience.
And, while Sannoh's players were considered and deserved the title of Japan's best high school players, they were not perfect, incurring in a few faults during the game, specially during the last part, which would come as beneficial to Shohoku.
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- All of the known players in the team have shaved heads.
- According to Yayoi Aida, since Kazunari Fukatsu and other senior players joined the team, they have never lost a single game.
- When watching tapes of Shohoku's games to analyze the players and draft strategies against them, the sole exception was against Sakuragi Hanamichi, considered a rookie and a stater because of his strange behavior, like staring at the camera, receiving a ball in the face when distracted and missing his commoner's shot.
|Players||Kazunari Fukatsu • Matsumoto Minoru • Masashi Kawata • Masahiro Nobe • Eiji Sawakita • Mikio Kawata • Satoshi Ichinokura|