Patty Mills says the pain of a shattered Olympic Games medal dream will drive the Australian Boomers to get redemption when they play Spain on Friday night.
The Boomers will play in a World Cup semi-final for the first time in history when they meet Spain in the next stage of the tournament in China.
Mill's performances for Australia over the past two months have been outstanding, prompting Boomers great Andrew Gaze to describe the Canberra junior's efforts as: "one of the remarkable Australian sports performances".
Mills is averaging 22 points and 22.5 assists per game as he leads the Boomers' on their mission to clinch a major international medal for the first time.
The United States have been knocked out of the tournament, paving the way for Australia to make a shock run to the gold medal.
But the Boomers players are still scarred by an Olympic bronze-medal loss against Spain in Rio three years ago.
"There's still some fire that's been building since the Rio Olympics, so we're all determined to get back to this point," Mills said after beating the Czech Republic.
"We've had three years to let it soak in. We've been working hard to get to this point, so for us to have another opportunity, have another crack, is what we've been working so hard for."
Andrew Bogut added: "We remember that game; we've held that for three years.
"Spoke about it numerous times, and it still hurts today.
"We have a chance to salvage that in a couple days."
Mills' form has been so good he's considered a contender for the tournament's most valuable player award and he was at his best in a 12-point win against the Czech Republic on Wednesday night.
He scored 24 points and had six assists as the 31-year-old eyes the one thing that has eluded him in his career: international success.
The NBA championship-winner has been in Boomers training camps since he was 18 years old and has been to three Olympics.
Some have called for him to be Australia's flag-bearer at the Tokyo Olympics next year and Gaze, a five-time Olympian, said Mills was driving the Boomers to history.
"It's hard to go back to a more significant Boomers contribution in the last 10-15 years," Gaze said.
"He's been remarkably consistent and that type of thing doesn't happen by accident."
The winner of the Boomers-Spain contest will play either Argentina or France in the gold medal match on Sunday night.
- with AAP
BASKETBALL WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL
Friday: Australia v Spain in Beijing, 6pm.