Spain have delivered the Boomers more heartbreak, this time 95-88 in double overtime of the World Cup semi-final in China.
The Boomers led by 11 in the third term, but were overtaken in the final 10 seconds thanks to a dubious foul call and Patty Mills then missed a free-throw with the final play of regular time to force an extra period.
Matthew Dellavedova’s desperate floater on the buzzer then bounced out as teams went into a second extra period in which the Spanish skipped clear to force Australia into Sunday’s bronze medal game.
They’ll play the loser of the other semi-final between France and Argentina.
Mills had 34 points for Australia including four from 11 three pointers while Nic Kay was next best with 16 points for the Boomers.
Perth Wildcats forward Nick Kay was immense for Australia, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Toronto Raptor Marc Gasol topscored with 33 points for Spain.
Australia were left to rue several missed shots in big moments, while regular turnovers also helped the Spanish stay close despite shooting at just 31 per cent in the first half.
A tough foul on Andrew Bogut, eerily similar to events in Rio when Spain pipped Australia by one point to win Olympic bronze, will also sting the Australians as they maintain their search for a maiden international medal.