This was supposed to be our time.

The time the Boomers won Australia's first ever Olympic medal in men's basketball. The time someone threatened to steal gold from under Team USA's very nose.

But as so often happens in sport, dreams were crushed.

Our men's basketball team lost to Spain by one point in a heartbreaking play-off for bronze, meaning they'll have to wait four long years before they get a crack at standing on a podium with some bling around their necks.

Advertisement

The team was spearheaded by NBA stars like Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova, Patty Mills and Joe Ingles, but they couldn't spark an Aussie win when they needed it most in the final two games.

After a controversial call against Mills on defence in the dying seconds cost the Aussies a win against Spain, Bogut lashed out at the referees.

"Unfortunately they Superman-dived into me and the referees bought it, as usual," Bogut said.

"There were questionable calls all game. That's FIBA basketball. We wouldn't expect anything less from the refs.

"We battled tonight but at times we were outnumbered out on the court.

"It felt like we were playing a different sport at times."

Bogut was filthy he couldn't play a bigger role in the team's final game. He was fouled out of the contest early in the third quarter, which explains his anger towards the whistleblowers.

But after returning to Australia on Wednesday morning, the 31-year-old admitted he was upset with someone else - himself. Grateful to be back home, he said his team needed a bigger performance from him, but was disappointed he couldn't deliver against the Spaniards.

The loss to Spain followed a horror showing against Serbia in the semi-finals. Joe Ingles said the Boomers' 87-61 capitulation to the Serbs was "pathetic" and contained "nothing Australian about it".

A nightmare shooting performance, both from long range and inside the arc, derailed any hopes the Aussies had of playing off against the US for a gold medal. It was even harder to swallow because they'd already beaten Serbia 95-80 in the group stages earlier on.

There were such high hopes for our side in 2016, particularly after the scare they gave the Americans in their only match-up of the tournament. They ultimately went down by 10 points 98-88, but stayed with the Yanks for all but the remaining two minutes of the match, even managing an eight-point lead in the first quarter and a five-point buffer at half-time.

Australia gushed about the team's performance against the raging gold medal favourites, but it was Bogut's reaction afterwards that gave Aussie basketball fans the biggest reason to be optimistic - they weren't going to be happy with being second best.

"It was (an incredible game) but not really, we're disappointed. We had every opportunity to try and push that game. We still lost, it doesn't mean anything," Bogut said.

"There's no small victories, you either win or you lose. Tonight we lost. We've got some stuff to work on, we'll go and do that.

"We battled but like I said let's not sugar coat it we lost the game. I know everyone's proud of us because we weren't supposed to beat these guys, but we had the belief we could compete with them and we're disappointed with the result."

Unfortunately, that wasn't the last time Bogut would leave the Rio court disappointed.