61st National Basketball Championship from Tuesday

New Delhi: Top hoopsters of the country will be seen in action in the IMG-Reliance National Basketball Championship for Senior Men and Women starting here from Tuesday.

The eight-day tournament, to be organised by Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and IMG-Reliance, will feature 27 men`s and 23 women`s teams from different states across India, as well as teams from Railways and Services.

Most of the players who have represented India national squad in recent major tournaments -- at the Asian Games in Guangzhou and Super Kung Sheung Cup in Hong Kong -- will be participating in the championship.

Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Jagdeep Singh, Yadvinder Singh, Hareesh Koroth, Dinesh CV, Dishant Shah, Trideep Rai, Prashanti Singh, Geethu Anna Jose, P Anitha, and Akanksha Singh will be among the top stars in action.

The matches will be held at the Talkatora Stadium and at Modern School.

"It has been a historic year for the BFI and basketball, as the IMG-Reliance group partnered with the federation to help promote the sport in India," BFI Secretary General Harish Sharma said in a release.

"Now, we are excited to bring the most talented Indian players and teams to Delhi so that they can perform at the biggest stage - the National Championships. Basketball is a sport that can easily become extremely popular in India, and we are hoping that this tournament will help encourage more youngsters to take part in the sport."

Reigning men`s and women`s champions Indian Railways have been grouped in Pool A of the Upper Pool in both the Men`s and Women`s divisions.

Groupings: Men: Upper Pool

Pool A: Indian Railways, Uttarakhand, Services, Karnataka, Kerala

Pool B: Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Chandigarh

Lower Pool

Pool C: Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Tripura, West Bengal

Pool D: Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan

Pool E: Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Maharashtra, Pondicherry

Pool F: Gujarat, Assam, Mizoram, Orissa

Women: Upper Pool:

Pool A: Indian Railways, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh

Pool B: Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh

Lower Pool

Pool C: Haryana, Orissa, Pondicherry

Pool D: Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan

Pool E: Chandigarh, Jharkhand, Bihar

Pool F: Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, West Bengal.