Davao Occidental Tigers escaped with an 81-76 win, outlasting Basilan Steel Jumbo Plastic at Lamitan City Gymnasium on Wednesday to force a Game 3 in the South finals of the MPBL Lakan Cup.
The winner-take-all game is in Davao on Saturday.
Still recovering from a shock 74-72 defeat in Game 1, the Tigers had to grind it out in the final minutes to gut out the victory.
Emman Calo led the way for Davao with 17 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists, while Richard Albo added 14 points.
Davao had to put in the extra effort in the middle quarters for a 64-55 advantage after trailing Basilan early in the match.
The Steel came charging back in the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run behind Allyn Bulanadi.
But the rally came too late, as Davao held on.
In the other game, Makati City Super Crunch frustrated reigning champion San Juan-Go for Gold to also send their best-of-3 series to a rubber match.
Makati got the better of San Juan in an emotionally charged and closed-door game 91-88.
Jeckster Apinan had 20 points on top of 12 rebounds, while helping Crunch inflict the Knights' first loss in the Lakan Cup.
But San Juan did not go down without a fight as Carlos Isit was able to bring the Knights to within 89-87 with 20 ticks to go.
However, Makati managed to hang on and hack out the win.
John Wilson paced the Knights with 21 points.
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