Mumbai, Oct 10 (UNI) Formidable Tamil Nadu XI will lead the men's challenge, while women's winners Southern Railway will defend their title, in the 24th United Phosphorous All India Ramu Memorial Basketball Tournament that will be held from October 14 to 21 at the Indian Gymkhana here.
Challenging star-studded favourites Tamil Nadu XI, will be last year's runners-up Indian Army, the formidable Central Excise and Customs (Kochi), Indian Navy, Vijaya Bank (Bangalore), South Central Railway (Secunderabad), Maharashtra State and Western Railway.
Among the women, Southern Railway will face the challenge of Chattisgarh, Southern Railway, South Central Railway (Bilaspur), Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB), Western Railway and Central Railway.
The competition will feature a host of international/Indian stars including last year's men's ''Player of the Tournament'' Sambhaji Kadam of Indian Army and women's ''Player of the Tournament'' Geetu Anna Jose of Southern Railway who has featured in the league in Australia.
The league-cum-knock out competition, co-sponsored by Reliance Mutual Fund, will include a round robin league in the two pools of four teams each for men where the top two teams from each pool will qualify for the semi-finals.
Following the round robin league in the women's category that features six teams, the top two teams will qualify for the final.
The men's winners will receive the Ramu Memorial Rolling Trophy and Rs 65,000, while the runners-up will receive the Dr K Muthukumar Memorial Trophy and Rs 35,000.
The women's winners will receive the Kapila Khandvala Rolling Shield and Rs 35,000, while the runners-up will earn Rs 15,000.
In addition, there will be ''Player of the Tournament'' award in the Men's and Women's categories.
This year the tournament will be played on international standard Terraflex courts and will be held under floodlights in a specially erected stadium.