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Welcome, fans to the second match in the first round of the Amateur Pro-Bending Tournament! Tonight we have the Orchard Gardens Ostrich Horses against the reigning champions, the Makapu Moose Lions.
The Horses are on the blue side. They have an earthbending captain, Teo; a waterbender, Kori; and a firebender named Kuzon. They've won small, unofficial tournaments like the Harmony Tower Classic but have never attempted to win something this big. Just by looking at Kori you can tell she's apprehensive about this game. On the other hand, Teo and Kuzon are looking fierce and we all know that they're ready to go.
The Lions, as always, are put on the red side. Their captain is a firebender named Kai. The earthbender is named Cheng and the other is a waterbender, Kaya. Kaya has the facial expression of a two-headed rat viper going after its prey. As a matter of fact, the whole team does.
The bell has cried its loud cry and the two teams brutally pound each other with their skills. Teo has succeeded in stopping Kaya's incredible momentum when she made the wrong move and was to the corner of the zone. Kori slams at the fallen Kaya but is too slow.
Teo uses his marvelous right hook to send his target, Kaya, back a zone but is knocked down when the Lion's earthbender, Cheng, has taken advantage of Teo's focus on Kaya.
Kuzon fires at Kai's legs but Kai jumps up in the air not realizing that he's been set up. Kori knocks him directly in his stomach. He is ejected into zone three giving the Lions three points to the Horse's zero. The Horses have been known to use odd yet effective plans to knockout their opponents.
Kori takes charge because she has done a rapid one two on Kuzon but he still stands solid like a rock. They create an unusual brawl. Kuzon jumps up and does a roundhouse kick back to the girl, knocking her down hard.
Kori is trying to get up but before she can, Cheng whacks her off the ring with a good snap kick. What's this? The official has rung the bell with twenty seconds remaining and is giving Cheng a yellow fan. I am being informed that the cause of this penalty is that Cheng's attack on Kori was deemed "too violent" for pro-bending. This means that the Horses get to advance into Makapu's territory. The crowd is violently booing the referee, louder than normal.
The bell has rung once more and the fight continues. Kori is back up on the ring and Cheng is reluctantly in zone two, giving the Lions four points and the Horses none. There's only seventeen seconds left and the Orchard Gardens team needs a miracle for them to win the round.
Cheng yet again shows his aggression when he stealthily slant aerials, colliding three coins into Kori's torso for the second time, knocking her off of the ring. Keeping his stunning drive, he trips Kuzon, giving Kai the perfect opening. They've done it! Kuzon is rolling into zone two and the bell rings leaving the round at a tie!
Cheng has made up for his undeserving penalty, making it anyone's game. We'll be back after a few words from our sponsors, Kuang's Cuisine and Cabbage Corps!
We are back at the second game of round one. The score is tied right now after Cheng's unbelievable playing. The bell has rung signaling the beginning of the match.
The Horses are fed up with what happened a few moments ago. Kori hits Kaya directly in the face, starting a rumble of massive proportions. Kaya crouches down, roundhouse spins and trips Kori but it wasn't enough. Kori easily recovers her stance, ready to strike a different opponent.
Kai goes after his corresponding bender and succeeds to get in a hit, twisting Kuzon 360 degrees before he lands flat on his face. Now that is what you call pro-bending. With all his might, Kuzon attempts to get back up but is shot back down again. Kai signals his teammate Kaya and attempts to finish Kuzon off with an amazing hit to the back but only manages to get him to zone two.
The Horses' firebender is still doubled over on the ground, not making a single move. A bell is rung, halting all gameplay, and two paramedics take the unresponsive Kuzon to the infirmary. From my knowledge of the tournament rules, the Ostrich Horses can forfeit or play, WITHOUT a substitute, which they have. The game is resumed and Teo takes no time attacking the man twice his size, Cheng. As though he were in war, Teo screams as loud as he can and forces rapidly at his opponent. With each bout, Cheng easily counters with a strong kick. What is Teo trying to do?
The crowd and I know Teo's peculiar scheme now. Teo has purposely ricocheted an earth coin off one of the ropes and into Cheng's side. Wait! His plan isn't done yet! Cheng's is rocketing into the other side of the ropes and out of the ring. The whole crowd and even the referee applaud Teo's smart thinking. This might be the Horses' chance at winning the match. Anything can happen, though, with 30 seconds remaining on the clock.
According to the rules, if an opponent is taken out of the match due to injury, the opposing team does not receive any points. This makes the score 3-0, making the Horses the potential winners of the round possibly the entire game. Without Cheng on their side the Lions might not have what it takes to knock a Horse off the ring.
The Lions hang in there as the Horses use up all of their conserved energy to knock another player out of zone one. The bell rings ending the match and giving the Orchard Gardens team a point to their tally.
If the Lions win this next round one of their players will go to the tiebreaker. Although their loss in the round, the Lions have an advantage over the Horses. Cheng has had a longer time than anyone to recover and build up his energy. Surely he'll be very aggressive and maybe win the round for his team. He looks ready, he's acting ready, he is ready.
The game has started its last round and as I predicted, Cheng is raining on the Horses' parade as he bashes all three opponents at once.
This time, Kaya picks a fight with Kori when she trips her and makes her step over the line between the teams' territories. Kori unwillingly walks to her new zone, makes a dirty face at Kaya and finds a new fight to start.
Kori goes after Teo but isn't fast enough for him. This is a big mistake most amateur pro-benders make. They're asphyxiated on one person instead of paying attention on both their target and the target's teammates. This gives the more clever opponents the advantage of knocking them off the ring.
Being as stubborn as she is, Kori still tries to shove Teo at least one zone to help add a point to the Horses' score.
Forty seconds into the round and no one has even come close to moving a zone. This is going to be one dull-
Whoa! The Lions' firebender, Kai, has showed his amazing skills with a move called the Azula plank kick. He jumps up in the air and kicks with both legs at the same time making him look like a plank of wood on his back, forcing Kuzon to get used to a new zone, zone two.
This round has finally woken up the people in the stands and they chant both teams' names.
If the Ostrich Horses can tie this round, they advance. But if they don't, they have to go into the tiebreaker. For those who didn't see the Harmony Classic two years ago, every time the Horses went into a tiebreaker, they lost. The ring becomes even tenser than before. The whole arena heats up when the turn firebender go at it. Ladies and gentlemen the audience and I are witnessing blue fire coming from both Kuzon and Kai.
The two duel like the great battle between Azula and Zuko. Kai ducks and shoots at Kuzon's legs, Kuzon shuffles to the side and returns a blast to the arm. Kai falls over with his torso off the tiebreaking ring. Kuzon takes his lead but Kai rolls over and scurries over to the other side. The smallest trip-up could cost the time the whole match.
There's a minute and twenty seconds left and both competitors look fatigued. Kai starts off with a kick close to the head but the referee doesn't call it. He keeps his momentum going with a one-two at the legs. Kai has Kuzon running around the ring like an arctic hen without its head.
Sweat drains from Kuzon's forehead as he grows closer to passing out. What's wrong with him? He's just standing there, staring into space. Kai cocks his head to the side, confused. Not taking any chances, Kai gives a marvelous hue of cerulean to Kuzon and the Lions win the game!
History has repeated itself and the Horses get their first strike. Be sure to check out the interviews and the next match between the Gaipan Goat Dogs and the White Falls Wolfbats.
Interview with Cheng from the Makapu Moose Lions
RCSN: Hello Cheng, it's great to be able to chat with you tonight. Let's jump right in to it. What did you think when you got that yellow fan?
Cheng: The first thing I thought was, I can't get another fan. A team rarely wins without all three elements. I could've given the match the Ostrich Horses, but I made up for it.
RSCN: What do you think you, as a team, need to work on?
Cheng: We definitely need to on strategies that use all three of us instead of the usual one element versus its element. The Pygmi Pumas one their match solely through teamwork.
RCSN: Do you think the referee's calls are wrong, that you're too aggressive or a little bit of both?
Cheng: I think that I am a little bit too aggressive but these refs this year aren't the best around. I guess that's all you can afford on an amateur tournament's budget.
RCSN: My final question is, do you think you have hope for placing in the top four?
Cheng: Absolutely! I've always had high hopes to make it the pros. This is definitely a dream come true.
RCSN: Thank you, Cheng! Good luck in your further endeavors in pro-bending.
Interview with Teo from the Orchard Gardens Ostrich Horses
RSCN: Good evening, Teo.
Teo: Good evening!
RCSN: Tell me. How did you take the defeat?
Teo: The team and I didn't take it too bad. They were a tough team and I know we still have one more strike left.
RCSN: If you do win, will you go up to the pros or stay down in the amateurs?
Teo: If we make it, we'll take our chances at the pros but if they're too hard for us, we'll take drop out and wait the two months to register for the amateurs.
RCSN: That sounds like a decent plan. During the match, did you come up with the plan to take Cheng off the ring before or during the game?
Teo: When I began pro-bending, I've always visualized that idea in my head and when I saw the opportunity, I knew I had to take it and run with it.
RCSN: Did you know they named that move the Teo? It's in the news and on the official Pro-Bending list of moves.
Teo: That's amazing! I didn't know that that wasn't done before.
RCSN: I'm sure lots of people are practicing it in the arena right now. Well, thank you for coming and good luck!
Teo: No, thank you!
Review of the Winning Team
This was a highly anticipated night at the arena. The Orchard Gardens Ostrich Horses went head to head with the Makapu Moose Lions, current Earth Kingdom Coastal champions. Nobody could tell who would win.
Both teams were a great match for each other and tension rose throughout the venue.
Cheng became a fan favorite with his astonishing belligerence. He starts out his game with a yellow fan. His ember-blazing teammate, Kuzon, managed to knock down the stubborn Kori and Cheng carried out the attack. To his dismay, the referee penalized the earthbender. The crowd was outraged and the ring became ten times louder. With seventeen seconds left, Cheng presented a move he's been working on (that some think should be named after him), the slant aerial. He used it towards his previous prey, Kori, and knocked the worn-out girl out, yet again. He tied the score and the match. Into the next round, his cliché opponent, Teo, knocked Cheng out of the ring, leading to the Horses' win of round two.
Kaya is one of the fiercest waterbenders in the tournament. She and Kori butted heads throughout the match and mostly likely will butt heads throughout the entire tournament. Kori didn't start out with the best game. Teo picked a fight with her and ended up throwing her to the corner of the zone. She dodged Kori's fatal attack at her head but Teo came back and ejected her to zone two. In the subsequent round Kori blasted her directly in the face but Kaya succeeded to trip her opponent, not doing enough damage to move Kori back a zone. In the final round, after the two stopped their squabble, Kaya commenced a battle with Kori and caused her to stumble into a new zone.
Kai had a very up-and-down performance. In the beginning of round one, Kuzon and Kori tag-teamed him and Kai found himself in zone three. During round three Kai made up for his mistake and got revenge on his corresponding bender, Kuzon, rocketing the teen into the second zone. Kai was later chosen to be in the tiebreaking round and almost gave the match to the Horses. The game of cat and dog continued when Kuzon did the legendary Azula plank kick to Kai's arm. Kai did not give up and, as Shiro Shinobi said, gained momentum running Kuzon around the ring like an arctic hen without its head. Kuzon quickly fatigued and Kai took that to his benefit winning the game for the Moose Lions.
The trio's actions led them to win the match over the Ostrich Horses. Although the success, these two teams might see each other later in the tourney.
1 – A good technique, used by the Horses, gave the Lions two points. Kuzon fired at Kai's legs but Kai jumped up in the air not realizing that he was being set up. Kori knocked him directly in his stomach. Kai was ejected into zone three. Although they didn't win the game, their teamwork can get them into the top four.
2 – This highlight caused a debate about the tournament's referees' terrible calls. Kori was trying to get up but before she can, Cheng whacked her off the ring with a good snap kick. The bell rung with twenty seconds remaining and gave Cheng a yellow fan. We were informed that the cause of this penalty is that Cheng's attack on Kori was deemed "too violent" for pro-bending. Plenty of fans and newsletters bad-mouthed the official and the tournament itself.
3 – The third and final highlight was the most painful of the three. Kai went after his corresponding bender and succeeded to get in a hit, twisting Kuzon 360 degrees before he landed flat on his face. With all his might, Kuzon tried to get back up but was shot back down again. Kai signaled his teammate Kaya and attempted to finish Kuzon off with an amazing hit to the back but only managed to get him to zone two. Everyone who watched or listened that felt sorry for the young man in pain.
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