ISML 2010: The stage is set for Diamond finale

ISML 2010: The stage is set for Diamond finale




August 7, 2010


The International Saimoe League enters its final day of regular season play with Match Day 7 in the Diamond phase and at this point it's Shana's to lose.

An emphatic victory by the Crimson Flame Haze herself over Taiga Aisaka will all but seal the deal. She has already won the Emerald and defended her Sapphire. A Diamond victory will all but make her the odds-on favorite to win the Tiara.

"Again, I keep reiterating," Shana said while munching on her 210th loaf, "I never pay attention to the numbers. The Diamond necklace won't make me the overall champion. It will be the Tiara, and this match with Taiga will give me an idea on how far I will progress in the postseason."

Aisaka admitted that she was facing "heavy odds" but kept her head high.

"I am personally proud of how I did this season," Aisaka said. "I'm not going to be the overwhelming choice to win it all, but I will give it everything I got when September comes.

"I already caused a stir on Ruby 7 against Mio Akiyama, so I am capable of what I can do on Sunday."

Shana torched Kotomi Ichinose 2943-1558 while Aisaka slashed past Maria 2708-1680.

Another important match involves defending champion Hinagiku Katsura and Mio Akiyama. Both Akiyama and Katsura have a 47-1 record and the winner will likely sew up the second seed unless Aisaka pulls off a stunning upset.

Akiyama drubbed Minatsu Shiina 2915-1558 and Katsura defeated Nagisa Furukawa handily, 2711-1737.

"A victory over Hina may not guarantee me the necklace," Akiyama admitted at her press conference, "but it will be proof that her defense is not going to be an easy one, not by any stretch of the imagination. She will have to work for it."

"I look forward to any challenge because I am not one to back down from it," Katsura said. "I am excited about the opportunity to gain momentum heading into the Tiara phase."

Saber may have a shot at winning the Diamond, but it will have to depend on the results of those two matches and a strong performance against Kyou Fujibayashi. Saber slashed past C.C. 2262-1939 while Fujibayashi annihilated Isumi Saginomiya 2554-1684.

"I am going to see this as a chance to finish unbeaten," Saber said. "I believe I can get it done. The numbers will determine who gets this necklace, just like it will determine who gets the crown. I'll be ready."

"Personally, I am sick and tired of stumbling at the last hurdle," Kyou said after her victory. "I hope that habit ends on Sunday."

Mikoto Misaka and Azusa Nakano will be wrapping up their Diamond necklace runs against a couple of familiar faces who have also qualified for the Tiara.

Nakano defeated Konjiki no Yami 2930-1435 and will get her first look at Haruhi Suzumiya, who eased past Nodoka Haramura 3379-834.

Misaka electrocuted Chizuru Akaba 2729-1480 and will end her regular season against Yuki Nagato, a 2831-1462 winner over Nanoha Takamachi.

Here is the list of qualifiers for the Tiara in order of current standing:

1. Shana
2. Mio Akiyama
3. Hinagiku Katsura
4. Taiga Aisaka
5. Mikoto Misaka
6. Yuki Nagato
7. Azusa Nakano
8. Haruhi Suzumiya
9. Tomoyo Sakagami
10. Saber
11. Kyou Fujibayashi
12. Nadeko Sengoku
13. Nagi Sanzen'in
14. Yui Hirasawa
15. Kagami Hiiragi

Four remain in contention for the final ISML Tiara spot: Hitagi Senjougahara, Rin Tosaka, Fate Testarossa and Mafuyu Shiina. A victory will not guarantee qualification, as the numbers and votes will be the deciding factor.

Senjougahara defeated Ryou Fujibayashi 2424-1722 and will face Tosaka, who took out Louise Francoise Le Blanc De La Valliere 2149-1993.

Testarossa lost a heartbreaker to Ui Hirasawa 2175-2145 and will need to bounce back big against Konata Izumi (a 2344-1775 victor over Ruiko Saten) to stand a chance at pushing for the No. 16 seed.

As for Shiina, she defeated Ikaros 2374-1445 but may see her journey end at the hands (and guitar and pick) of Yui Hirasawa, who has exhibited solid form in her 2908-1361 rout of Tsukasa Hiiragi. Hirasawa also completed a sweep for K-ON! on Thursday.

In the special match, Lain Iwakura defeated Rakka from Haibane Renmei 1838-778.

Nadeko Sengoku defeated Ushio Okazaki 2550-1513 to secure another sweep for Bakemonogatari.

In other ISML action...Nagi Sanzen'in trashed Nymph 3074-1138, Tomoyo Sakagami scored a 3103-932 walkover win against Mihoko Fukuji, Kurimu Sakurano defeated Mei Sunohara 2293-1689 and Mikuru Asahina barreled past Minori Kushieda 2395-1709.

Fuuko Ibuki clobbered Ami Kawashima 2208-1779, Holo chomped up Hanyuu Furude 2648-1279, Kagami Hiiragi crushed Chiaki Minami 2671-1281 and Illyasviel von Einzbern routed Rika Furude 2443-1477.

Match Day 7 of the 2010 International Saimoe League is scheduled for Sunday, August 8, 2010. Vote online for your favorite candidates at InternationalSaimoe.com.

Comments

Amdrag said…
One correction: Fate and Mafuyu have no shot of qualifying. They're both one win (3 points) behind Rin and Hitagi. Since Rin and Hitagi are facing each other, there's no way that they would both get no points.
J.R. Salazar said…
I know that. That's why I said it won't guarantee them a spot.