- REDIRECT Template:Team Infobox"The Road to the Nationals" is the 144th chapter of the Slam Dunk manga.
The difference in the Kainan-Ryonan game's score is now down to 5, as Sendoh attempts to shoot. The shot makes it, giving Ryonan more confidence. Soon afterwards, when Maki tries to get past Sendoh, he finds himself unable to, to Kainan's chagrin. Maki attempts to pass, but Sendoh blocks him and forces him to keep the ball. However, Maki forcefully drives past Sendoh, shocking Ryonan. Uozumi tries to block Maki, but Maki still scores, fouling Uozumi in the process. Everyone gets nervous about Maki's power, as Maki's free throw brings the difference down to 4 points. Nakamura and Aida see that Kainan gets better as the game goes on, as Uozumi knocks down Takasago while shooting. Uozumi is then given his third foul, worrying his teammates. Maki keeps Uozumi's fouls in mind as Jin scores another three-pointer, putting Kainan only one point behind.
Kogure wonders why no one's guarding Jin, and Akagi sees that Ryonan is substituting Fukuda for Ikegami, who is better at defense. However, Taoka is determined to not let Fukuda stay on the bench for long, and Nakamura and Aida see that Ryonan is doing what Shohoku did in their match against Kainan. Maki then tells Takasago to get on Uozumi and get him out of the game, shocking Sendoh. Soon afterwards, Takasago causes Uozumi to foul, shocking him and the crowd. However, Uozumi argues with the ref about his foul and is given a technical foul. This makes five fouls on Uozumi, who now has to leave the court. The crowd begins to worry about Ryonan's chances now, and Maki smiles in triumph as Sendoh gets tense.