The Boomers are hoping to become Australia's first men's basketball team to win an Olympic medal, and a gold one at that.
By
Ella Archibald-Binge

Source:
NITV News
19 Aug 2016 - 10:47 AM  UPDATED 19 Aug 2016 - 10:58 AM

That dream is now one step closer after the team notched up a convincing 26-point win over Lithuania to earn a spot in the semi-finals for the first time in 16 years.

“It wasn't just rocking up to another Olympic campaign to throw the ball out and participate…We want to come over here and get a gold medal," says top-scorer Patty Mills. 

The star-studded Australian outfit has put on an impressive display in Rio, delighting fans with their aggression and determination on-court.

Their latest win sets them up for a semi-finals showdown with Serbia on Saturday morning.

Mills says a strong sense of camaraderie has been key to the team's success.

“That's always the tough thing is to be able to come from all around the world pretty much and come together and try to sync as much as we can, but I think it just starts from off the court.”

“To understand the impact that we can have, on a community... it's special.”

For the Boomers, their Olympic campaign began 15,000 kilometres away from Rio in the red centre of Australia.

In the tiny Aboriginal community of Mutijtulu, the Boomers got a powerful reminder of what they're playing for.

“To understand the impact that we can have, on a community... it's special,” Mills said during the July trip.

A month later, that experience is still driving the Aussie team.

“Stuff like that that is I guess a bit strange on some sporting teams, but that really made us come together and lifted that camaraderie to another level I think, and found the true meaning of what it takes to represent Australia and represent the green and gold,” he said.

The team is now hoping they have what it takes to go all the way and Mills says the team is still on a mission.

“It's been a long and important campaign for us, so to come this far now, it's obviously good to get the win. But we've obviously established a goal that we all believe in and we're still on a mission. So enjoy the win today for the rest of the day and obviously refocus for the next big one.”

Mills says it all comes down to one important thing.

“The biggest thing is belief, and that's the word that we use the most - belief in ourselves, belief in one another to be able to achieve something that we've never done before.”

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