UNZA Pacers coach Cuthbert Tembo has described the national championships semifinal fixture against rivals Matero Magic as the biggest game of the season.
And Magic coach Obert Shamboko says he is ready to dethrone Pacers as national championship title holders.
In separate interviews, both coaches described the game as a final before the final.
Tembo said the match would not be easy but that both teams had equal chances of going through to the final.
"Chances are very high. We won the season-opening tournament and the national championship this year by beating Magic in the final. So we will be ready for them though we know they have played some good basketball this season," Tembo said.
"The whole season for both teams comes down to this game because it will define the whole year."
Tembo he would love to meet Napsa Hurricanes in the final should his team qualify as he had unfinished business with them.
"With all due respect to my childhood club LCC Looters, I have nothing against them but when we make it to the final I would love to meet Hurricanes for personal reasons. It is always entertaining when you play Hurricanes. You are aware of what happened a few weeks ago when we played in the league," he said.
But Magic coach Obert Shamboko said he had utmost respect for Pacers because they were defending national champions.
He said the chances were fifty-fifty, adding that the best team would carry the day.
"When the draw was made I didn't like it but in the end we are ready to face any team. Pacers are a good side and will not be easy to beat," Shamboko said.
Pacers and Magic qualified to the semi final of the championships after beating the CEC Cavelliers 88-40 and CBU Comets 91-56 respectively.
The other quarter-finals saw LCC Looters beat YMCA 68-43 and Napsa Hurricanes edging Lunga Bullets 98-83.
Hurricanes and Looters meet in the other semifinal scheduled for this weekend at OYDC.
In the ladies quarter-finals, Mufulira Saints posted a humiliating defeat to Unza Honeys when they went down 106-24 while LCC Lootresses lost 43-63 to Shells and Green Buffaloes sailed through to semi-final without playing after their opponents CBU Robins were disqualified for arriving late at the tournament.