VENDESPACE (EuroBasket Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - The past two years have been simply sensational for Croatia, with a superb fifth-place finish at EuroBasket Women 2011, ultimately paving the way for a historic first Olympic step in London last summer.
But the wheels finally came crashing off at EuroBasket Women 2013, as Croatia hit the wall completely, in an almost mirror opposite of what occurred in Poland two years ago.
Back then, they lost two of their first three games, but sparked a stunning turnaround.
This time, a convincing 89-77 first day success in Trelaze against Lithuania looked as if their fabulous momentum would continue.
However, they subsequently capitulated, losing their next four games in a row - the most painful of which, was their last outing against their big rivals Serbia, when they were beaten 77-64.
Head coach Stipe Bralic offered no excuses and admitted his team were off the pace as they struggled to turn around their poor streak of form.
"The Serbian team was better," he said.
"They played aggressive defense and we had 23 turnovers - that's far too much.
"We played very soft in the first quarter and we played better after that, but it wasn't enough."
Meanwhile, Matea Vrdoljak was left to reflect on a missed opportunity and a major tournament debut which didn't exactly go to plan - agreeing with her coach that Croatia were meekly rolled over.
"We didn't start very well defensively," claimed the guard, recalling her team having fallen 39-25 behind.
"We tried to play more aggressively but they were better than we were.
"We started better in the second half, but that wasn't enough."
Whilst there is a credible notion that Croatia had over-achieved over the past couple of years, there is also credence to the concept that at EuroBasket Women 2013, they have under-achieved.
Four losses from five games is arguably a poor return for a team that many feel should be pushing to make the Quarter-Finals and battle to book a place for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.
The retirement of kingpin Sandra Mandir, who made the All-Tournament Team at EuroBasket Women 2011 does offer some mitigation.
As do the injury problems to guard and key playmaker Andja Jelavic, but Croatia have players who will inevitably touch down at Zagreb airport in a few days feeling short-changed.
After all, take a look at their experienced frontcourt which boasts the powerful duo of Ana Lelas and Jelena Ivezic, along with the mobility and execution of center Marija Rezan.
The brutal facts are that Croatia are 2-8 in their last 10 major tournament games - albeit with one more still to wrap up in Vendespace against Great Britain when they will at least be looking to leave on a positive note with a victory.
Whether expectations have been raised too high in the wake of their Olympic debut is debateable.
But even if they had not stepped out in the British capital last year, they would surely have expected a better return from their involvement in France this summer.