Philly Sports Live

Big 5 Basketball Doubleheader Returns to Palestra

Philadelphia PA: College basketball fans in Philadelphia has been waiting to see the Big 5 teams (Temple, Penn, LaSalle, Saint Joseph’s, Villanova) to play their games against each other at the Cathedral of College Basketball The Palestra. The last couple of years, the Big 5  teams have moved their games to on campus and took away the tradition of playing each other at the Palestra.

On Wednesday the Big 5 announced that LaSalle will take on Temple and Penn will play Saint Joseph’s in a classic doubleheader at the Palestra on Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 part of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Philadelphia Big 5. LaSalle & Penn will be the home teams for the games. The cool thing about this doubleheader is that both games will be on one ticket.

Statement from Steve Bilsky, Executive Director of The Big 5 on the Doubleheader

“The Athletics Directors wanted to do something very special to celebrate this unique achievement, We thought nothing would capture its history better than a competition to be held in the famed Cathedral of Basketball. The fact that we were able to pull it off in a very challenging college basketball scheduling environment is a credit to the AD’s, coaches, and conference commissioners, all of whom displayed tremendous perseverance and flexibility.”

The most recent doubleheader that involved the Big 5 at The Palestra was on December 4, 2004, as Penn defeated La Salle, 78-67, Temple took down  Villanova, 53-52 and Saint Joseph’s lost to Drexel 57-49.

Ticket information and other facts about the celebration will be available through the Big 5 office and the websites of LaSalle University and The University of Pennsylvania

Temple coach Fran Dunphy: “The Big 5 is a special part of the fabric of Philadelphia sports, It is held in high regard nationally, and is treasured by Philadelphia college basketball fans locally.  We are happy to be taking part in this true Big 5 doubleheader to honor its 60 years of existence”

Penn Coach Steve Donahue “This is how Philadelphia first fell in love with college basketball, By seeing two great games and four great teams in one night in what I think is the most intimate setting to watch a game, The Palestra. January 20 should be an incredible evening for college basketball fans, and we are so excited to be a part of it and have the classic ‘Big 5 Doubleheader’ return to The Palestra.”

LaSalle Coach Dr John Giannini “Coaching Big 5 games in the Palestra are some of the best experiences I have had in coaching, The great competition, the venue, the tradition, the rivalries, and the loud, passionate, split crowds create a most unique environment.”

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