The Boomers exited the FIBA World Cup in heartbreaking fashion and to rub salt in the wounds, Patty Mills missed out on the tournament’s All-Star Five.
Mills Was Australia’s best performer throughout the tournament averaging 22.8 points per game, shooting the triple at 40 per cent.
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But there was no room for the San Antonio Spurs point guard in the World Cup All-Star five, which consisted of Ricky Rubio, Evan Fournier, Bogdan Bogdanoic, Luis Scola and Marc Gasol.
Rubio also earned the World Cup MVP after leading Spain to the title.
Unfortunately, Australia and Mills will leave China with horribly familiar feelings after the Boomers collected another fourth place.
Mills has led the side's public charge for a maiden international medal, speaking graphically about the pain of their one-point loss to Spain in the 2016 Olympic bronze medal match.
They had golden ambitions entering China, having just knocked off the United States for the first time in Melbourne in a final hit-out that further fuelled the belief.
The United States and Serbia were then felled in the quarter-finals as Mills kept delivering in the clutch moments and the Boomers' path cleared.
Andrew Gaze mentioned him in the same breath as Ashes hero Steve Smith and Mills was firming as the man to fly the Australian flag at Tokyo's Olympics next year.
Then, leading by 11 against Spain, the first cracks started to appear as Andrej Lemanis's nine-man rotation began to tire.
With no blow-outs among their first six wins, Lemanis wasn't willing to use his full bench and it meant high workloads for the primary rotation.
Fatigue set in, turnovers became more regular and the shots stopped dropping.
Mills, while still spectacular, missed a free-throw that would have all-but sealed a win in regulation time against Spain in a semi-final they went on to lose in double overtime.
And he only took 12 shots against France, scoring an equal tournament-low 15 as the Europeans came from that same margin down to power home for bronze.
He finished the tournament among the top-five leading scorers with 22.8 per game, shooting the triple at 40 per cent.
Fourth was the Boomers' best World Cup result in the biggest field in the tournament's history. But fourth doesn't come with a medal.
He led his team off the court, head bowed on the brink of tears, ignoring the waiting media as he pondered another one that got away.
Tokyo is less than a year away and a distraught coach Andrej Lemanis managed to force a smile when asked about the next chapter in the side's elongated quest for a medal.
"The loss in Rio was something that was spoken about here ... they don't need it as motivation but they wanted to build on that, take the belief from that into this campaign and I think they'll do the same (into Tokyo)," he said.