- Fantasy Basho
Natsu 2023 Day Thirteen
Public League Leaderboard
Scores from Fantasizr.
01 Yokozuna East Terunofuji
03 Sekiwake #1 East Kiribayama
36 Maegashira #14 East Asanoyama
Kotenage. The Yokozuna seemed to put a little extra something on the arm lock throw he delivered to push Asanoyama away from the Yusho.
Match of the Day
03 Sekiwake #1 East Kiribayama versus 30 Maegashira #11 East Hokuseiho
Hokuseiho is proving he is still a challenge for any rikishi, but Kiribayama showed he has the ability to take on anyone. As should be expected, Kiribayama went deep inside and Hokuseiho decided to do a heavy lean. Interestingly, Kiribayama decided to lean into the skid. The soon-to-be Ozeki pulled down and attempted trips, although Hokuseiho kept his feet extremely well. In the end, though, a leg trip worked for Kiribayama after Hokuseiho couldn't get any offense going.
Mathematically, only three rikishi can now win the yusho: Terunofuji, Kiribayama, and Asanoyama. Realistically, Asanoyama needs a lot to go right. First, he absolutely needs Kiribayama to defeat Terunofuji in the musubi no ichiban on Day Fourteen as well as winning his match against Shodai. Then he needs both men to lose on Day Fifteen, while he wins his final match. That would see a three-way playoff. So it's possible, but improbable.
Terunofuji and Kiribayama squaring off on Day Fourteen is an interesting choice from the schedulers. Traditionally, the top two rikishi on the Banzuke should see each other in the final match of the final day. For Natsu, that is Terunofuji and Takakeisho. Terunofuji is in the prime position for the Emperor's Cup, but Takakeisho just cleared 8 wins to barely keep his Ozeki rank. There is no way to think that will be a barn-burner. That is especially true if Terunofuji wraps up the Yusho on Day Fourteen.
Terunofuji is certainly favored against Kiribayama, but he'll have a tough match on his hands. Terunofuji has recently had the most trouble with rikishi who can make him move sideways. Kiribayama's talent is in using a grip to move a match around the dohyo to find an opening. Kiribayama guaranteed his Ozeki promotion with his defeat of Hokuseiho, but he has a shot at something more. He also would need to have a lot go wrong to not get a Jun-Yusho.
In truth, the Yusho race is the most up-for-grabs thing to fight for. Takakeisho's Ozeki-dom will remain through at least September. Hoshoryu, Daieisho, and Wakamotoharu will keep their Sekiwake ranks. Kotonowaka and Shodai do need to both win their last two matches to get kachi-koshi and remain Komusubi. At the bottom of the Banzuke, Kagayaki, Mitoryu, and Ichiyamamoto have already crashed out of the Makuuchi ranks.
Yet everyone still needs to fight two more times. Every rikishi will want the best record possible now, whether it's to win a Yusho or just get 8 wins and move up a spot in the rankings. Nothing is at all guaranteed for anybody. Although a Day Fifteen collision for the Yusho is best, the Day Fourteen matchup will still be a Yusho decider. We also still have a shot at a playoff. Things can still go wild.