KOTTAYAM: The 53rd State senior basketball championships will begin at the Nehru stadium on Monday. Host Kottayam women will take on Alappuzha in the inaugural match. The matches will be played the under newly-erected floodlit towers. The tournament will be played on a league-cum-knock out format.

Fourteen teams, including defending champion Thiruvananthapuram, will take part in the men’s section. The teams have been divided into four groups.

In the men’s section, the top three teams from pool ‘A’ and Pool ‘B’ will qualify for the quarterfinals. The group winners of Pool ‘C’ and Pool ‘D’ will also qualify for the quarterfinals in the men’s section.

In the women’s section, 10 teams will vie for top honours. The teams have been divided into three groups. Groups winners of Pool ‘A’ and Pool ‘B’ will qualify directly for the semifinals while runners-up of pool ‘A’, Pool ‘B’ and the top two teams from pool ‘C’ will figure in the quarterfinal.

The semifinal and final will be played on November 2.

The groupings:

Men: Pool ‘A’: Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Idukki and Kasaragod. Pool ‘B’: Pathanamthitta, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Malappuram. Pool ‘C’: Kottayam, Alappuzha and Kollam. Pool ‘D’: Palakkad, Kannur and Wayanad.

Women: Pool ‘A’: Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam and Kozhiikode. Pool ‘B’: Thrissur, Kottayam and Alappuzha. Pool ‘C’: Kollam, Kannur, Pathanamthitta and Malappuram. — Principal Correspondent

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