Continuing the recent purple patch of performances for Tamil Nadu basketball after the state's victory at last month's Senior Nationals, the Indian Overseas Bank squad from Chennai won gold at India's first major club competition of 2018, the 4th Mulki Ram Sunder Ram Shetty All India Basketball Tournament. IOB won the tournament's finale at the Sri Kantaveera Stadium in Bengaluru on Sunday, February 4, with an impressive victory over another Chennai squad, the Integral Coach Factory (ICF).
The Mulki Ram tournament was organised by Vijaya Bank in Bengaluru from January 31 to February 4, featuring several of India's top men's club squads, featuring the hosts Vijaya Bank themselves (Bengaluru), IOB, ICF, Income Tax, Customs (all from Chennai), Rail Coach Factory (Kapurthala, Punjab), and the Karnataka State Team. Vijaya Bank defeated IOB to win the tournament last year.
Vijaya Bank won the third-place playoff against Customs in a close contest, 81-76. S. Karthickeyan scored 21 to lead the hosts, while Chennai were led by Justin (27) and Hari Ram (23) in a losing effort.
IOB received ₹1,00,000, while ICF took home ₹50,000. RA Sankara Narayanan, Vijaya Bank CEO and Managing Director, gave away the prizes.
A number of individual awards were also given at the end of the tournament, including:
- Player of the tournament: GA Anto Bethle (ICF)
- Most popular player: Justin (Customs)
- Most promising player: Navin Raj (Vijaya bank)
- Best defender: Aravind Annadurai (IOB)