Special Correspondent

KOTTAYAM: The 13th YMCA all-India basketball tournament will get underway at the Nehru Stadium here on Thursday with the promise of some exciting action in both the men's and women's sections.

The men's section will witness an array of internationals representing Indian Bank (Chennai), Vijaya Bank and MEG (both Bangalore), EME Centre (Bhopal), Customs and Central Excise (Kochi), KSEB and BSNL (both Thiruvananthapuram), besides a combined team from among the Universities in Kerala. The competitions will be held on a knock-out basis and the winner will be awarded the Kottayam YMCA Trophy.

In the women's category, it would be a round-robin league between Central Railway (Mumbai), Southern Railway (Chennai), South Western Railway (Hubli) and KSEB (Thiruvananthapuram) followed by a play-off to identify the winner of the Parthas Trophy.

Elaborate arrangements have been made at the venue including the construction of a temporary gallery to seat around 3,000 spectators. Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, YMCA President, K. John Cherian, hoped that the tournament would provide further impetus to the growth of the game in the State.

Local MLA, V.N. Vasavan, will inaugurate the four-day event at a function to be presided by the Municipal Chairperson, Reeba Varkey. The finals in both the sections will be held on Sunday.

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