DASMARIÑAS and Laguna forced rubber matches in the semifinals of the National Basketball League at the Baliuag Star Arena in Baliuag, Bulacan.
The Dasmariñas Ballers overcame the top-ranked Bulacan Makabayan, 88-87, while the Laguna Pistons defeated the second-seed Parañaque Aces, 87-82, on Wednesday to force a do-or-die battle for a finals berth on Saturday.
The knockout game will be held on Saturday at the San Dionisio Gym in Parañaque City.
John Gabion had 19 points and eight rebounds for the Ballers, while Mark Sornet tallied 17 points and seven rebounds for the fifth-seeded Ballers.
Dominick Fajardo added 20 points for the Makabayan, whose six-game winning streak was snapped on Wednesday by the Ballers.
Shin Manacsa had 20 points on 8 of 9 shooting from the field, while Ralph Pantaleon had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons to stay alive in their bid for the finals spot.
Raffy Gusi had 19 points for the Aces, who will need to win on their home court in order to advance into the finals.