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Jun 22, 2018 - 01:28 AM

Slam Dunk: Team Shoyo

Shoyo and Kainan have always been the top teams of Kanagawa. When Fujima joined Shoyo he immediately became a star player and his biggest rival was Kainan's Maki. Fujima has never been able to beat Maki and this year his team got defeated by Shohoku in the district games (62-60). In last year's IH games Shoyo got eliminated by Toyotama, as Minami injured Shoyo's ace player Fujima (not entirely on purpose though). Fujima is coach player of the team and carries the great responsibility of strategist and team captain. He knows how to stimulate and motivate his players, but is in fact also the best player of the team.

Although seniors normally retire after the summer to focus on the college entrance examinations, all the seniors of Shoyo decided to stay in the team to participate in the Highschool Winter games.

Fujima is the key player of the team, not only for the mental support but also for his great play. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of his players, and moreover, he knows how to motivate them to become stronger. It's said that Shoyo is just an ordinary team without Fujima.

Shoyo took advantage of their great average height and used the zone defense against Shohoku, with which they aggressively guarded the bucket to eliminate Shohoku's fast attacks and the scoring powers of Akagi. However, this tactic didn't work too long, because Shohoku possesses the great long range shooting ability of Mitsui.

Shoyo's answer was the Box One tactic: 4 players guarded the bucket and the 5th played one-on-one with Shohoku's shooter. Hasegawa was the person appointed to guard Mitsui, which worked for a while. Especially because Mitsui was already close to exhaustion. But Mitsui resurrected with his tremendous mental powers and broke this tactic down.

Weak points:
Hanagata is one of the top centers of Kanagawa, while the others are not very talented yet very decent players. However, Shoyo's powers are totally relying on Fujima.

The major weakness of this team has to be their mental strength, or better: the lack of it. Takano missed two free throws at a crucial moment in the game vs Shohoku (60-58) and the team could not overcome the shock of 'giving away' a 12-point lead.

Fujima also made miscalculations in the game against Shohoku: he did not expect the decesive scoring abilities of Rukawa and the great rebounding powers of Sakuragi. When his team mentally broke down, he wasn't able to motivate them once more.

Ryonan's coach Taoko also said that Shoyo might have had a different fate if Fujima wasn't player coach but just either one. If only Shoyo had a real coach and Fujima could focus on being a player, then the outcome might have been different.

#4 Fujima Kenji
3rd year
Point guard
178 cm, 66 kg

click here to read Fujima's profile

#5 Hanagata Toro
3rd year
197 cm, 83 kg

He is one of the top 4 centers of Kanagawa. In contrary to Akagi and Ryonan's Uozumi he is a more elegant and slender center, who is not relying on the physical strength (he has a very nice fade away jump shot). We could see that Akagi had some trouble with defending this kind of center players.

#6 Hasegawa Kazushi
3rd year
190 cm, 81 kg

Hasegawa knows Mitsui back from junior high. He got defeated by Mitsui in every way, something he has never forgotten. We believe he was also angry with Mitsui because he gave up on basketball and ended up with delinquents. Before the match he assured that Mitsui would not be allowed to get more than 5 points.

In the Box One strategy he was the one who should play one-on-one against Mitsui. He succeeded eventually, until Mitsui resurrected and delivered a marvelous performance.

Fujima said that Hasegawa trained harder than the others and improved amazingly, his only weakness is his lack of confidence. He's an okay player, but does not possess any special abilities.

#7 Nagano Mitsuru
3rd year
191 cm, 84 kg

I think we know nothing about this guy, he is just a fifth member of the tall Shoyo team, with no special abilities. His most remarkable moment is probably his double team with Takano on Rukawa, in which Rukawa scored two marvelous points for Shohoku breaking the 11-0 losing situation.

#8 Takano Shouichi
3rd year
193 cm, 85 kg

He guarded Sakuragi and smartly took advantage of the reserved play of Sakuragi, who got 4 fouls already. He seems not to have any special abilities but his height is an advantage and gives the the team possibilities to play several defensive strategies.

  #9 Itoo Taku
2nd year
180 cm, 71kg

Sorry, we don't even have a picture of this guy. He does not play a big role in the team. He only played because the team wanted Fujima to spare his energy.