SHANGHAI - Having internally shed the underdog tag for belief years ago, coach Andrej Lemanis will say things are simply going to script as the Boomers arrive in Shanghai as red-hot favourites in a World Cup quarter-final.
Monday night's stirring 100-98 comeback defeat of France was described as the game of basketball's showpiece tournament by the losing coach and meant the Boomers (5-0) avoided the United States in Wednesday's knock-out clash.
Instead they'll play tournament debutants Czech Republic (3-2), who lost to the two-time defending champions by 21 points in their opener last Sunday before trouncing Brazil to secure their final-eight pass.
A Boomers' win would create history, sending them to a Cup semi-final for the first time and edge them within one victory of a maiden major tournament medal.
With the United States and fellow Cup fancies Serbia on the other side of the draw, the scenarios are stirring interest in Australia and the Boomers are as short as $1.12 with bookies to win on Wednesday.
But Lemanis, who coached the side to a gut-wrenching bronze medal-game loss at the Rio Olympics, has remained typically even-tempered.
"It's no fluke they're in the quarter-finals," he said of Wednesday night's opponents Czech Republic.
"You have to get over the wins very quickly and get focused on the next task.
"But it's a quarter-final of a World Cup ... if you don't get up for that you don't deserve to win."
Lemanis said his players' willingness to publicly state their golden ambition was nothing new, but it contributed to them prevailing in five tight matches so far in China.
"The underdog status perhaps has permeated a little more externally than internally for some time now," Lemanis said.
"After we qualified for Rio we sat down and spoke about going there to win a gold medal, because we truly believe that we have the talent and camaraderie and mateship to get that done.
"Belief is an important element. Skill's important, so is teamwork and you need a bit of luck sometimes too. But belief, it's good to have."
It's flowing through the veins of Boomers ace Joe Ingles, who found his shooting groove against Utah Jazz teammate Rudy Gobert to continue a fine campaign in China.
His 23 points included two three-pointers and a lay-up over Gobert that came accompanied with what's become his signature stare-down.
"I trash talk everyone," said Ingles with a grin of the Gobert match-up.
"But we've got the confidence in our group; whether we're up, down, win or lose.
"We believe we're a really good team, but there's still stuff we can improve on."
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