PALM HARBOR — Don’t let the generational — or height — gaps fool you, the boys won’t be backing down.
The second-annual Battle of Palm Harbor charity basketball game will be played at 5 p.m. Friday evening between the Palm Harbor Middle School Panthers boys team and firefighters from Palm Harbor and Oldsmar fire rescue departments.
Last year’s inaugural event ended in a 46-21 runaway, but simply assuming that game’s victor would prove the validity of an old adage cautioning against such presumptions.
The Panthers’ youthful, fresh legs wore down those of their elders. Boys coach Macho Liberti, a firefighter in Largo for over 10 years, said the firefighters will be getting the rematch they were asking for after last year’s final buzzer.
“It’s a fun event, definitely, and it’s turning into some bragging rights, too,” he said Monday afternoon. “Some of the guys are talking about having to at least do a little better against middle schoolers.”
While also being an enjoyable couple hours on the hardwood, the event ultimately acts as a fundraiser for the Panthers.
“It’s going a long way for the guys and they really appreciate it,” Liberti said of donations from last year’s game and other sources. Some of those items include warm-ups, jerseys not covered by the county and an end-of-year awards banquet.
The Battle of Palm Harbor 2 is open to the public and is $5 at the door or $2 for students. An after party will be held at LuLu’s Beach House Cafe in downtown Palm Harbor. The buffet will be $10 for adults and $5 for kids.
The Palm Harbor Middle School gymnasium is located at 1800 Tampa Road.