Palm Beach Atlantic Set to Play Florida Gators in Men's Basketball
August 20, 2015
Written by: Michael Brown, Associate A.D. for External Operations
GAINESVILLE, Fla.- The Palm Beach Atlantic men’s basketball program and head coach David Balza released a sneak peek into the 2015-16 Sailfish schedule on Thursday with the announcement of an exhibition contest versus the University of Florida. The Gators will host the ‘Fish on Thursday, Nov. 5th as PBA will travel for the first time to the O’Connell Center for a 7 pm tipoff.
The preseason exhibition announcement comes on the heels of other excitement surrounding PBA’s program as they enter their second year of provisional membership within the Sunshine State Conference. The 2015-16 season will feature a full conference slate for the first time as PBA will take on each conference member in a home-and-home series.
“We are excited about the opportunity to play a tradition-rich program like the University of Florida that will undoubtedly be a valuable experience for our players and our fans,” said Balza. “Playing a Division I program of their caliber and in an environment like the O’Connell Center will be a great early test for our team as we prepare for a tough schedule ahead.”
Palm Beach Atlantic joins a list of Division II South Region members who have played a similar exhibition contest against UF the past few years with Barry University (2014), Florida Southern College (2013) and Saint Leo University (2012) each previously getting their crack at the two-time NCAA Division I national champs.
Balza begins his third season leading the Sailfish and looks to continue a trend of improvement as he inherited a team that won just one game the year before his arrival to double-digit victories in the 2014-15 season.
The Gators will be led by first-year head coach Michael White who inherits a team that finished 16-17 overall and 8-10 in the Southeastern Conference. White most recently served a four-year stint as the head coach at Louisiana Tech.
PBA last defeated a Division I program on Nov. 26, 2010 when they handed Stetson University a 61-55 regular season loss in Deland, Fla. PBA lost to the Hatters by a score of 96-85 in an exhibition game on Nov. 20, 2014.
Beyond Stetson the ‘Fish have also taken on the University of Central Florida and the University of South Dakota in the NCAA-era for PBA Athletics.
The remainder of the men’s basketball schedule will be released in the coming weeks.