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Palestra to host Big 5 doubleheader in January

Two times in recent months we've seen reports surface about discussions to get a Big 5 doubleheader into the Palestra at some point during the 2015-16 season. On Wednesday, confirmation finally came that a twinbill will happen.

The date to save is Wednesday, January 20, 2016. Temple will play La Salle in one game and Saint Joseph's will play Penn in the other, with the Explorers and Quakers as the home teams. And yes, both games will be on one ticket. Sales will be through the La Salle and Penn ticket offices.

As far as I can tell, it will be the first single-ticket men's basketball doubleheader in the Palestra since November 29, 2005, when Penn played Colorado and Saint Joseph's played Drexel in a twinbill. It will definitely be the first all-city doubleheader on 33rd Street since the last edition of the much-beloved Big 5 Classic took place in 2004.

There were statements of support from Penn coach Steve Donahue, La Salle's John Giannini and Temple's Fran Dunphy. All three have never been shy about their love for the Palestra - and for Giannini and Dunphy, that has sometimes meant going against alumni and donors who would rather watch games in more plush surroundings.

It's not the return of the Big 5 Classic (sorry, I had to), but at least it will be something nice for the City Series' 60th anniversary. The Big 5 office also said "other facts about the celebration" will be forthcoming.